Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether age, C-reactive protein (CRP), body temperature, or results of voiding cystourethrography at diagnosis of first-time symptomatic urinary tract infection could predict the risk of renal damage as evaluated by dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scintigraphy performed 1 year after the infection.
Design: The study included 157 children (median age, 0.4 year, range, 5 days to 5.8 years) with first-time symptomatic urinary tract infection. In children 1 year of age or older, a body temperature of 38.5 degrees C or higher was necessary for inclusion. CRP and body temperature were measured at the time of infection, and voiding cystourethrography was performed shortly thereafter. DMSA scintigraphy was performed 1 year later in all children.
Results: After 1 year, 59 (38%) of the 157 children had renal damage as evaluated by DMSA scintigraphy, and of these, 28 (47%) had reflux. There was a positive correlation between renal damage and CRP, body temperature, and reflux. Children with high levels of CRP, high fever, and dilating reflux had a risk of renal damage up to 10 times higher than children with normal or slightly elevated CRP levels, no or mild fever, and no reflux.
Conclusion: CRP concentration and body temperature at the index infection, in combination with the results of voiding cystourethrography, are useful in classifying children at high and low risk of scintigraphic renal damage 1 year after urinary tract infection.