Background: Most girls with recurrent urinary tract infections do not have major urinary tract abnormalities. Recent studies focus on predisposing behavioral and functional abnormalities: infrequent voiding, inadequate fluid intake, stool retention, poor genital hygiene and voiding dysfunction.
Methods: Complete history, bladder and bowel questionnaire, physical examination, voiding-drinking diary, sonography and uroflowmetry were used to assess infrequent voiding, functional stool retention, poor fluid intake, inadequate hygiene, or voiding dysfunction in girls referred for evaluation of three or more symptomatic urinary tract infections (with a first infection at the age of more than 36 months).
Results: A total of 141 girls aged 3.9 to 18 years were evaluated between 1996 and 1999; 212 abnormalities were noted in 120 patients: infrequent voiding (isolated, 16; combined with other abnormalities, 47), poor fluid intake (isolated, 10; combined, 50), functional stool retention (isolated, 5; combined, 25), inadequate hygiene or toilet habits (isolated, 3; combined, 24), dysfunctional voiding (isolated, 15; combined, 10), bladder overactivity (isolated, 5; combined, 2).
Conclusions: Most girls referred for evaluation of three or more urinary tract infections have host-mediated predisposing abnormalities: infrequent voiding, poor fluid intake, functional stool retention or voiding dysfunction. Poor genital hygiene and toilet habits were almost always combined with other abnormalities, suggesting that infections are not necessarily related to poor genital hygiene or toilet habits. Two or more indications of predisposing behavior often concur in the same patient.