We evaluated the predictors of renal scar in children with urinary tract infections (UTIs) having primary vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). Data of patients who were examined by dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scintigraphy between 1995 and 2005 were evaluated retrospectively. Gender, age, reflux grade, presence/development of scarring, breakthrough UTIs, and resolution of reflux, were recorded. The relation of gender, age and VUR grade to preformed scarring and the relation of gender, age, VUR grade, presence of preformed scarring, number of breakthrough UTIs and reflux resolution to new scarring were assessed. There were 138 patients [male/female (M/F) 53/85]. Multivariate analysis showed that male gender [odds ratio (OR) 2.5], age > or = 27 months in girls (OR 4.2) and grades IV-V reflux (OR 12.4) were independent indicators of renal scarring. On the other hand, only the presence of previous renal scarring was found to be an independent indicator for the development of new renal scar (OR 13.4). In conclusion, while the most predictive variables for the presence of renal scarring among children presenting with a UTI were male gender, age > or = 27 months in girls, and grades IV-V reflux, the best predictor of new scar formation was presence of previous renal scarring.