Medical therapy alone can be sufficient for bilateral emphysematous pyelonephritis: report of a new case and review of previous experiences

Int Urol Nephrol. 2014 Jan;46(1):223-7. doi: 10.1007/s11255-013-0446-7. Epub 2013 Apr 17.


Bilateral emphysematous pyelonephritis (EPN) is an extremely uncommon, life-threatening gas-forming infection of renal parenchyma and its surrounding areas. Surgical treatment, including percutaneous catheter drainage and nephrectomy, has been advocated as the treatment of choice in most of the patients. However, nephrectomy is itself a hazardous intervention in an unstable septic patient. Whenever bilateral disease is present, the need for long-term renal replacement therapy is unavoidable. We present the clinical course of a lady who presented with bilateral EPN and was successfully managed by medical therapy alone. We also reviewed almost all published cases of bilateral EPN that had been managed medically.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Complications / complications
  • Emphysema / complications
  • Emphysema / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyelonephritis / complications
  • Pyelonephritis / therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents