Vesicoureteral Reflux or VUR is a condition where the urine flows backward into the kidneys, from the bladder. Generally it is through the ureters that the urine flows to the bladder. Pressure of urine and muscles of the ureters and bladder prevent urine from flowing backward through the ureters. The bacteria from the urine in the bladder reaches, the kidneys causing infection. In the process the kidneys get scarred and damaged.
VUR is of two types, Primary VUR and Secondary VUR. In the case of Primary VUR, the ailment is detected within a short time after birth. Valve at the end of the tube carrying urine to the ureter from the kidneys is defected. Secondary VUR is a condition where the urine flows backward into the kidney due to obstruction in the urethra or bladder. Secondary VUR is caused by injury, abnormal bladder emptying, surgery or infection caused in the past that puts pressure on the bladder. Children with spina bifida and other birth defects may commonly suffer from Secondary VUR.
Symptoms of Vesicoureteral Reflux include frequent urination, burning sensation during urination, pain, fever and a constant feeling of fullness in the bladder. In a small child the only symptom of urinary tract infection is fever.
Diagnosis of Vesicouoreteral Reflux is done by physical examination, checking out medical history of the patient, urine culture, ultrasound of kidneys and Cystogram to detect whether the VUR is severe or mild.
Treatment for Vesicoureteral Reflux is not needed in many children, because as the child grows older, the mild VUR cases generally go away by the time the child reaches 5 years of age. However antibiotics like Bactrim, Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or Amoxicillin are prescribed as part of treatment. With antibiotic treatment, infection is prevented and treated. Continuous treatment may also be needed in some children. To check out presence of bacteria in urine, frequent tests may also be needed. If VUR is severe, then surgery may also be needed in some cases. New valves are created for the ureters so that backflow of urine is prevented.