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Home >> Specialities >> Kidney Transplant >> Pyelonephritis


With a global incidence of 120-130/100,000/year and 30-40/100,000/year for women and men, respectively, pyelonephritis is a term used for an infection of the kidney that usually starts within the urethra. The infection can spread to both the kidneys and requires immediate medical care. If left untreated, it can lead to irreversible renal damage, and the bacteria can enter the bloodstream, resulting in life-threatening complications. Pyelonephritis can affect both kidneys at the same time. 

What are the different types of Pyelonephritis?
Pyelonephritis is broadly classified into two types based on the onset of the symptoms and their progression.

  • Acute Pyelonephritis - The infection is abrupt and triggered by a bacterial urinary tract infection. 
  • Chronic Pyelonephritis - The infection is rare and usually results from congenital abnormalities that obstruct normal urine output.

What causes Pyelonephritis?
Some of the most common causes of pyelonephritis include:

  • Gender – females are more prone to the disease
  • An obstruction in the urinary tract 
  • Having a compromised immune system
  • Damage to the bladder nerves
  • Usage of urinary catheter 
  • Underlying conditions like vesicoureteral reflux

What are the symptoms of Pyelonephritis?
Various symptoms that could be an indication of pyelonephritis include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Experiencing pain while urinating 
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Increased urine output
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Traces of blood and pus in the urine 
  • Cloudy and bad-smelling urine 
  • Pain in the belly and lower back 

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