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Children with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection. - What Investigations Will My Child Require?

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Cartoon of renal scan

1. The first investigation usually done for children with UTI is an ULTRASOUND scan (US Scan). This test does not involve any injections or x-rays but just some cold jelly on your child’s stomach and back. It enables the outline of the kidneys, tubes and bladder to be seen on a srceen.

2. BLADDER X-RAY(known as micturating cystourethrogram or MCUG) This test is only used in very young children or those who need to be checked for an abnormality of the bladder or a weakness of the tubes leading back from the bladder to the kidneys (known as vesicoureteric eflux or reflux for short). This test does involve x-rays and the injection of a dye through a small tube which is passed up the urethra into the bladder. Your child should always be on antibiotics for at least the day of the test and one day afterwards to guard against infection that might have been introduced by the tube.

3. RADIONUCLIDE TESTS involve an injection of dye into a vein. This enables the kidneys to be seen in more detail and/or a check on whether there is a blockage to the out flow from the kidneys. These two types of tests are known as DMSA or MAG 3 scan. These tests are normally carried out in the day case ward

4. INTRAVENOUS UROGRAM (or IVU) CT or MRI SCANS - these tests are only carried out in certain circumstances. The need for them will be carefully explained by the doctor.

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Content compiled by members of the Children’s Renal & Urology Unit, QMC Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 121: What Investigations Will My Child Require? written: 16/07/2004 last reviewed: 14/11/2020