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Vesicoureteral reflux, or VUR, is a condition in which urine flows backward from the bladder into the ureters during urination. VUR is found in 35 percent of children who have a urinary tract infection (UTI) with fever. When children have recurrent UTI, VUR is thought to increase the risk of kidney damage.
In most children, reflux is a birth defect caused by an abnormal attachment between the ureter and bladder with a short, ineffective valve. In some children, an infrequent urination pattern may cause reflux to occur. A child with VUR is more likely to develop a kidney infection, which can lead to kidney damage.
As VUR does not cause pain, discomfort or problems with urination, it is a silent abnormality that usually goes undetected unless there is a UTI condition. The average age of diagnosis is 2 to 3 years, and approximately 75 percent of children treated for reflux are girls.
Although surgery is sometimes required, reflux will often gradually disappear by age 5 or 6. Imaging studies can determine the grade of the VUR condition. High grades of VUR may require a daily low dose of an antibiotic, given – sometimes for several years – in hope of preventing recurrent UTIs and kidney damage.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.