Previous studies show that chronic pyelonephritis and end stage renal disease may follow acute pyelonephritis in children and adolescents when improperly or inadequately treated. Our study shows that there is a significant decrease in renal function following untreated acute bacterial pyelonephritis due to nephron loss. The acute inflammatory response is responsible for much of the renal damage, although damage from renal ischemia is an additional significant factor. The present study used a combination of an antibiotic and a xanthine oxidase inhibitor (allopurinol) as compared to antibiotic therapy alone begun 72 hours after infection. Both were successful in eradicating the infection rapidly, but did not entirely prevent renal damage. Treatment prior to 72 hours thus is important. It appears that the combined treatment, designed to eradicate the bacteria as well as reduce the post-ischemic reperfusion damage and the phagocytic burst of phagocytosis is ideal, as this combined treatment was effective in preventing almost all renal damage and loss of renal function.