Functional constipation as a risk factor for pyelonephritis and recurrent urinary tract infection in children

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AIM: Acute pyelonephritis is one of the most common bacterial infections in childhood. This potentially serious condition can lead to renal scarring, loss of kidney function and hypertension. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with pyelonephritis in children without kidney or urinary tract abnormalities.

METHODS: Medical records of children aged 4-18 diagnosed with 1st time pyelonephritis from 2016 to 2021 were retrospectively analysed. Children with abnormal kidney ultrasound were excluded. In addition to demographic data, information on bladder and bowel function was extracted together with habits of fluid intake.

RESULTS: A total of 105 patients were diagnosed with 1st time pyelonephritis. Of these, 47% were diagnosed with constipation according to the Rome IV criteria within a mean follow-up period of 167 days after their pyelonephritis, which is markedly higher than the estimated prevalence of constipation in the background population. Constipation was positively associated with recurrent urinary tract infection (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Constipation is associated with pyelonephritis and recurrent urinary tract infection in children (primarily girls) 4-18 years of age without evident kidney or urinary tract abnormalities. We recommend systematic evaluation of bowel and bladder function after 1st time pyelonephritis in all children >4 years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Paediatrica
Pages (from-to)543-549
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Cicatrix/complications, Constipation/etiology, Female, Humans, Pyelonephritis/complications, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Urinary Tract Infections/complications

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