The optimal regimen for investigating children with urinary tract infection (UTI) remains uncertain. Ultrasonography, contrast micturating cystourethrography (MCU), intravenous urography (IVU), and technetium-99m dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) studies were performed in 58 children with UTI under 14 years of age attending two teaching hospitals and the results compared. All four investigations were normal in 12 children. In 36 with vesicoureteric reflux (VUR) on MCU, dilatation was reported on ultrasonography in eight children. Radiological renal scarring was seen in 20 children; it was suspected on ultrasonography in nine, with dilatation alone in four, and a normal report in seven. Duplex kidneys identified on IVU were unrecognised on ultrasonography or DMSA studies; ultrasonography showed no change corresponding to presumed acute defects on DMSA studies that later resolved. Disparities were observed at all ages. This study suggests that ultrasonography is unreliable in detecting VUR, renal scarring, or inflammatory change and, alone, is inadequate for investigating UTI in children.
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