What is Pyelonephritis?

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.

Further Reading

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Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014

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