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ABSTRACT: There are approximately 250,000 cases of acute pyelonephritis each year, resulting in more than 100,000 hospitalizations. The most common etiologic cause is infection with Escherichia coli. The combination of the leukocyte esterase test and the nitrite test (with either test proving positive) has a sensitivity of 75 to 84 percent and a specificity of 82 to 98 percent for urinary tract infection. Urine cultures are positive in 90 percent of patients with acute pyelonephritis, and cultures should be obtained before antibiotic therapy is initiated. The use of blood cultures should be reserved for patients with an uncertain diagnosis, those who are immunocompromised, and those who are suspected of having hematogenous infections. Outpatient oral antibiotic therapy with a fluoroquinolone is successful in most patients with mild uncomplicated pyelonephritis. Other effective alternatives include extended-spectrum penicillins, amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium, cephalosporins, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Indications for inpatient treatment include complicated infections, sepsis, persistent vomiting, failed outpatient treatment, or extremes of age. In hospitalized patients, intravenous treatment is recommended with a fluoroquinolone, aminoglycoside with or without ampicillin, or a third-generation cephalosporin. The standard duration of therapy is seven to 14 days. Urine culture should be repeated one to two weeks after completion of antibiotic therapy. Treatment failure may be caused by resistant organisms, underlying anatomic/functional abnormalities, or immunosuppressed states. Lack of response should prompt repeat blood and urine cultures and, possibly, imaging studies. A change in antibiotics or surgical intervention may be required.
The Woman with Dysuria - Article
ABSTRACT: Bacterial cystitis is the most common bacterial infection occurring in women. Thirty percent of women will experience at least one episode of cystitis during their lifetime. About one third of patients presenting with symptoms of cystitis have upper urinary tract infection. A careful history to identify risk factors for subclinical pyelonephritis is important. Symptoms of chronic cystitis accompanied by sterile urine without pyuria may represent interstitial cystitis. Dysuria may also be the principal complaint of women with vaginitis (infectious, atrophic or chemical) or urethritis. A stepwise diagnostic approach, accompanied by inexpensive office laboratory testing, is usually sufficient to determine the cause of dysuria.
Urinary Tract Infections in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infections remain a significant cause of morbidity in all age groups. Recent studies have helped to better define the population groups at risk for these infections, as well as the most cost-effective management strategies. Initially, a urinary tract infection should be categorized as complicated or uncomplicated. Further categorization of the infection by clinical syndrome and by host (i.e., acute cystitis in young women, acute pyelonephritis, catheter-related infection, infection in men, asymptomatic bacteriuria in the elderly) helps the physician determine the appropriate diagnostic and management strategies. Uncomplicated urinary tract infections are caused by a predictable group of susceptible organisms. These infections can be empirically treated without the need for urine cultures. The most effective therapy for an uncomplicated infection is a three-day course of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Complicated infections are diagnosed by quantitative urine cultures and require a more prolonged course of therapy. Asymptomatic bacteriuria rarely requires treatment and is not associated with increased morbidity in elderly patients.
ABSTRACT: Acute pyelonephritis is a common bacterial infection of the renal pelvis and kidney most often seen in young adult women. History and physical examination are the most useful tools for diagnosis. Most patients have fever, although it may be absent early in the illness. Flank pain is nearly universal, and its absence should raise suspicion of an alternative diagnosis. A positive urinalysis confirms the diagnosis in patients with a compatible history and physical examination. Urine culture should be obtained in all patients to guide antibiotic therapy if the patient does not respond to initial empiric antibiotic regimens. Escherichia coli is the most common pathogen in acute pyelonephritis, and in the past decade, there has been an increasing rate of E. coli resistance to extended-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics. Imaging, usually with contrast-enhanced computed tomography, is not necessary unless there is no improvement in the patient’s symptoms or if there is symptom recurrence after initial improvement. Outpatient treatment is appropriate for most patients. Inpatient therapy is recommended for patients who have severe illness or in whom a complication is suspected. Practice guidelines recommend oral fluoroquinolones as initial outpatient therapy if the rate of fluoroquinolone resistance in the community is 10 percent or less. If the resistance rate exceeds 10 percent, an initial intravenous dose of ceftriaxone or gentami- cin should be given, followed by an oral fluoroquinolone regimen. Oral beta-lactam antibiotics and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole are generally inappropriate for outpatient therapy because of high resistance rates. Several antibiotic regimens can be used for inpatient treatment, including fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, and cephalosporins.
Urinary Tract Infections: 2000 Update - Editorials