Which clinical findings should prompt an evaluation for pediatric urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Updated: Mar 19, 2019
  • Author: Donna J Fisher, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The history and clinical course of a urinary tract infection (UTI) vary with the patient's age and the specific diagnosis. No one specific sign or symptom can be used to identify UTI in infants and children.

Combinations of findings, including a prior history of UTI, circumcision in boys, and, in older children, typical symptoms such as frequency, abdominal or suprapubic discomfort, and dysuria, should be taken into account when making a decision to evaluate for UTI. [12, 13] Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend considering the diagnosis of UTI in patients aged 2 months to 2 years with unexplained fever. [14]

When UTI is diagnosed in a child, an attempt should be made to identify any risk factors for the UTI. These include recent broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, an anatomic anomaly, voiding dysfunction, and constipation.


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