Technical report—Diagnosis and management of an initial UTI in febrile infants and young children

Pediatrics. 2011 Sep;128(3):e749-70. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1332. Epub 2011 Aug 28.


Objectives: The diagnosis and management of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in young children are clinically challenging. This report was developed to inform the revised, evidence-based, clinical guideline regarding the diagnosis and management of initial UTIs in febrile infants and young children, 2 to 24 months of age, from the American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Urinary Tract Infection.

Methods: The conceptual model presented in the 1999 technical report was updated after a comprehensive review of published literature. Studies with potentially new information or with evidence that reinforced the 1999 technical report were retained. Meta-analyses on the effectiveness of antimicrobial prophylaxis to prevent recurrent UTI were performed.

Results: Review of recent literature revealed new evidence in the following areas. Certain clinical findings and new urinalysis methods can help clinicians identify febrile children at very low risk of UTI. Oral antimicrobial therapy is as effective as parenteral therapy in treating UTI. Data from published, randomized controlled trials do not support antimicrobial prophylaxis to prevent febrile UTI when vesicoureteral reflux is found through voiding cystourethrography. Ultrasonography of the urinary tract after the first UTI has poor sensitivity. Early antimicrobial treatment may decrease the risk of renal damage from UTI.

Conclusions: Recent literature agrees with most of the evidence presented in the 1999 technical report, but meta-analyses of data from recent, randomized controlled trials do not support antimicrobial prophylaxis to prevent febrile UTI. This finding argues against voiding cystourethrography after the first UTI.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Cefixime / administration & dosage
  • Fever / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prevalence
  • Pyelonephritis / prevention & control
  • Radiography
  • Recurrence
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • Urinary Bladder / diagnostic imaging
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections / therapy*
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / diagnosis
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / diagnostic imaging


  • Cefixime