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Children's UTIs in the new millennium. Diagnosis, investigation, and treatment of childhood urinary tract infections in the year 2001.

Author(s): White CT | Matsell DG

Journal: Canadian Family Physician
ISSN 0008-350X

Volume: 47;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 1603;
Date: 2001;
Original page

OBJECTIVE: To provide an effective approach for family physicians treating children presenting with urinary tract infections (UTIs). QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: The information presented, and articles quoted, are drawn from both review of the literature and recent consensus guidelines. Data and recommendations come from prospective multicentre trials; retrospective reviews; expert consensus statements; and some smaller trials, commentaries, and editorials. MAIN MESSAGE: Urinary tract infections are often seen in family practice. Diagnosis requires suspicion and a realization that children, especially those younger than 2 years, often have very few, nonspecific signs of infection. Obtaining a proper urine sample is vital, because true infections require radiographic studies. Antibiotic prophylaxis is promoted because of the link between vesicoureteral reflux, recurrent UTIs, and renal scarring and hypertension. We generally provide prophylaxis until children are 3 or 4 years, when risk of damage from reflux is lessened and timely urine samples are easier to obtain for prompt therapy. Surgical opinion is sought only when medical management has failed. Failure is defined as either recurrent infections and pyelonephritis or poor renal growth. CONCLUSION: To diagnose UTIs in children, physicians must suspect them, obtain proper urine samples, order appropriate investigations to rule out underlying anatomic abnormalities, and treat with appropriate antibiotics considering both organism sensitivities and length of therapy.
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