Management of vesicoureteral reflux in children

Curr Urol Rep. 2001 Apr;2(2):113-21. doi: 10.1007/s11934-001-0007-y.


Although much has been learned about the diagnosis and management of vesicoureteral reflux, several important areas of investigation remain. Because not all children with reflux are equally susceptible to renal scarring and the development of reflux nephropathy, controversy surrounds the need to evaluate all children with urinary tract infection or to continue prophylaxis in known refluxing children after a certain age. In addition to age, other factors such as sex, grade of reflux, and the presence of voiding dysfunction can all play a role. The grade of reflux as seen on the contrast voiding cystourethrogram is the best predictor of reflux resolution in large numbers of patients, but grade alone cannot predict spontaneous cessation in any one individual. Attempts at refining more quantitative imaging modalities have so far proved unsuccessful. Open ureteral reimplantation remains the standard for surgical care if surgery is necessary. Both cystoscopic and laparoscopic techniques, however, may ultimately prove to be reliable, minimally invasive approaches to definitive correction. Finally, there are data to support continued diagnosis and treatment of reflux in at-risk populations. The incidence of reflux-related morbidity in children has significantly diminished over the last three decades. A major challenge is to better identify at-risk subpopulations of children with reflux, so that not every child will require intensive, long-term medical treatment or surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / complications
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / therapy*