Vesicoureteral reflux is it important to find?

Ian Hewitt, Giovanni Montini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Vesico-ureteral reflux (VUR) has long been recognized as associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs), renal scarring, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). The concept of “reflux nephropathy” was born, whereby the VUR was considered the culprit, predisposing to recurrent UTIs and providing a conduit whereby the infection could ascend to the kidneys resulting in scarring and destruction. The more severe grades of reflux were thought to place the young child at particular risk of CKD. The question being asked in this pro/con debate is whether VUR is indeed the culprit responsible for a significant proportion of children with CKD, a number of whom progress to end-stage kidney failure (ESKF), and is thus important to find and treat, or is it an innocent bystander associated with CKD and ESKF but not the cause. We believe the latter and will present convincing evidence supported by large scale prospective randomized controlled trials that VUR is not the ogre it was thought to be and is not important to find following a UTI (with some exceptions).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Antibiotic treatment
  • Febrile urinary tract infection
  • Post infectious renal scarring
  • Prophylaxis
  • Vesico-ureteral reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nephrology


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