What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) in males?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Imaging and urologic intervention should be considered in the following patients:

  • Patients with a history of kidney stones, especially struvite stones, are candidates for urosepsis.

  • Patients with diabetes are susceptible to emphysematous pyelonephritis, and they may require immediate nephrectomy; persons with diabetes may also develop obstruction from necrotic renal papillae that are sloughed into the collecting system and obstruct the ureter.

  • Patients with polycystic kidneys are prone to abscess formation

  • Patients with tuberculosis are prone to developing ureteral strictures, fungus balls, and stones

Imaging in the emergency department is typically not necessary unless concomitant obstructive uropathy is suspected, as this is an emergent condition that requires prompt intervention. Modalities for this include ultrasonography, contrasted computed tomography (CT) scanning, or helical CT scanning of the urinary system (currently preferred by most experts).


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