Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Disappearance of vesicoureteric reflux during long-term prophylaxis of urinary tract infection in children.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: (Published 30 July 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:285
  1. D Edwards,
  2. I C Normand,
  3. N Prescod,
  4. J M Smellie


    Seventy-five children aged 3 weeks to 12 years and found on investigation of symptomatic urinary infection to have vesicoureteric reflux were managed conservatively with continuous low-dose prophylaxis. Serial cystographic and renal growth studies were performed during seven to 15 years' follow-up. Reflux disappeared spontaneously in 53 children (71%) and from 79% of the affected ureters. This occurred at any age and not only in infancy or at puberty. The initial severity or reflux was the most important factor affecting the outcome. Reflux disappeared from 85% of ureters of normal calibre but from only 41% of dilated ureters. Gross reflux associated with existing severe renal scarring was least likely to disappear. Nevertheless, reflux stopped in 12 of the 19 initially scarred renal units (63%). Reflux was as likely to disappear in children who had a recurrence of urinary infection as in those who had no further infection. Renal growth appeared to be normal in 93% of kidneys and fresh or extending scarring was seen in only two children. Management programmes for children with vesicoureteric reflux should take into account the self-limiting nature of three-quarters of the reflux found on investigating uncomplicated urinary tract infection.