Pyelonephritis is an ascending urinary tract infection that has reached the ''pyelum'' (pelvis) of the kidney (''nephros'' in Greek).
If the infection is severe, the term "urosepsis" is used interchangeably (sepsis being a systemic inflammatory response syndrome due to infection).
It requires antibiotics as therapy, and treatment of any underlying causes to prevent recurrence.
It is a form of nephritis. It can also be called ''pyelitis''.
Pyelonephritis is very common, with 12-13 cases annually per 10,000
population in women and 3-4 cases per 10,000 in men. Young women are
most likely to be affected, traditionally reflecting sexual activity in
that age group.
Infants and the elderly are also at increased risk,
reflecting anatomical abnormalities and hormonal status.
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Last Updated: Feb 1, 2011