The renal findings on intravenous urography (IVU) are reported in 306 children (73 boys, 233 girls) from eight European centres entered into an international study comparing medical and surgical management of children with urinary tract infection and severe vesico-ureteric reflux followed for 5 years. One hundred and fifty-five children were randomly allocated to medical and 151 to surgical treatment. Protocol and investigative techniques were standardised and randomisation, data collection and analysis were performed centrally in Essen, Germany. At entry 149 (49%) has established renal scarring (79 medical, 70 surgical). Children with normal kidneys (105), areas of thinned parenchyma (52) and grade of reflux were also evenly distributed. IVU was repeated at 6, 18 and 54 months and serial urine culture, 99mtechnetium-dimercaptosuccinic acid scans and plasma creatinine estimations were performed. Two hundred and seventy-two children (89%) completed this follow-up. In 174 children (57%), (90 medical, 84 surgical) there was renal growth without morphological change. New renal scars developed in 19 children treated medically and 20 surgically; 12 (5 medical, 7 surgical) developed in previously normal kidneys. Six followed post-operative obstruction. No significant difference in outcome was found between medical or surgical management in terms of the development of new renal lesions or the progression of established renal scars.