Urology Group of Western New EnglandUrology Group of Western New EnglandUGWNE - 413-785-5321 - 3640 Main Street - Springfield, MA
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Vesicoureteral Reflux

What is VUR?

This diagram shows the urinary system with one side indicating the correct flow of urine and the other indicating urine flowing the wrong way as it does in vesicoureteral reflux.

Who is affected?

Vesicoureteral Reflux is usually first diagnosed as a child. About 1% of children in the world have VUR, and the condition tends to be hereditary. If a parent has VUR, there is about a 50% chance that his/her children will also have VUR.

How is it diagnosed?

This diagram of the kidney and ureters shows the five grades of vesicoureteral reflux, with grade five being most severe.

If VUR is indicated, the severity of the condition may be graded on a system with 5 grades, with I being the least severe, and V being the most severe. Severity is graded based on the condition of the ureters and kidney.

VUR is a serious condition. Left untreated, it can cause kidney infections, which can lead to scarring and kidney damage. How do you know if your child has an infection: Signs of urinary tract infections include:

  • Foul smelling or cloudy urine
  • Fever
  • Stomachache
  • Backache
  • Side pain
  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Frequent and urgent urination
  • Headache
  • Vomiting

Treatment

It is important to treat VUR, to prevent infection and kidney damage. There are 3 possible options for treatment:

  • Antibiotics are used to prevent infections, especially in low grade cases of VUR, until the condition goes away by itself. This treatment course may continue for an extended length of time, during which the child is retested for VUR on a regular basis.
  • Surgery is sometimes necessary to fix the ureter. This option is for higher grades of VUR; however, it successfully treats most cases.
  • Endoscopic Treatment is when a substance is injected where the ureter joins the bladder. A product such as Deflux® may be used. This option is generally most suitable for grades II through IV.