Kidney infections may occur in one or both kidneys.
The kidneys remove waste from the body through urine. They also balance the water and mineral content in the blood. An infection may prevent them from working properly.
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Kidney infections are caused by a bacteria. The specific type of bacteria can vary. The bacteria most often comes from an untreated bladder infection.
Bacteria may be introduced to the urinary tract and ultimately the kidneys by:
Other medical conditions that increase your risk of infection include:
Symptoms of kidney infection may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids will be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Complications from untreated or poorly treated kidney infection can lead to:
You will be treated with antibiotics. Be sure to take all of the medication. Antibiotics may need to be delivered through an IV. This may require a stay in the hospital.
Surgical correction of vesicoureteral reflux in children may reduce risk for pyelonephritis.
Kidney infection is often a complication of a bladder infection. You can prevent bladder infections if you:
National Kidney Foundation
Urology Care Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Women's Health Matters
Complicated urinary tract infection (UTI). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 14, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Pyelonephritis: Kidney infection. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases and Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/pyelonephritis/index.aspx. Updated June 11, 2012. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 24, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2015
Urinary tract infection (UTI) in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 6, 2014. Accessed August 17, 2015.
3/6/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Nikolaidis P, Casalino DD, Remer EM. American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria Acute Pyelonephritis. National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=37923. Updated 2012.
Last reviewed August 2015 by Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 9/30/2013