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Feature Article

UTIs in children: who to image, when to treat

Anne M Durkan

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Abstract

Urinary tract infections are common in childhood. Testing of correctly obtained urine specimens is the gold standard method of diagnosis. There is much debate about the use of imaging and antibiotic prophylaxis in affected children.

Key Points

  • Appropriate urine collection is essential for the diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children.
  • Prompt treatment of affected children minimises the risk of long-term damage after a UTI.
  • All infants under 6 months of age and a select group over 6 months of age will require a renal ultrasound after their first UTI.
  • Children should only undergo a micturating cystourethrogram after consultation with a paediatric nephrologist or paediatric urologist.
  • Prophylactic antibiotics are beneficial to prevent further UTIs in some patients but they should not be prescribed routinely.

    Picture credit: © Jane Hurd.

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