Non-obstructive vesicoureteral reflux in adults: value of conservative treatment

J Urol. 1977 May;117(5):566-70. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)58536-5.


Chronic or recurrent non-obstructive urinary tract infection was investigated in 158 adult patients, 39 of whom had vesicoureteral reflux. Conservative, long-term chemotherapy did not eradicate the reflux in these patients. The characteristics of reflux in adults were studied with cystograms, excretory urograms, cystoscopic findings of the ureteral orifices or trigones and the clinical histories of the patients. These data were evaluated and compared to data obtained from adults with chronic or recurrent uncomplicated urinary tract infection and from children with vesicoureteral reflux who were referred to us during the same period. Non-obstructive vesicoureteral reflux in adults may be considered to be congenital in most cases, since the proportion of trigonal anomalies in adults with reflux is equal to that in children and the frequency of abnormalities at the ureteral orifice and trigonal region is significantly more than the frequency noted in control patients with uncomplicated pyelonephritis. Characteristically, excretory urography revealed caliceal scarring in adults with reflux in contrast to children, in whom a normal or dilated pattern of the upper tract was prominent. Recurring renal infection, for which this congenital defect of the ureterovesical valve must be responsible, produces progressive renal damage. Prolonged conservative treatment is of little use and is often destructive in adults with reflux.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Humans
  • Pyelonephritis / complications
  • Radiography
  • Recurrence
  • Ureter / abnormalities
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / complications
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / diagnostic imaging
  • Vesico-Ureteral Reflux / therapy*