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An infection of the kidney and the ducts that carry urine away from the kidney (ureters). Pyelonephritis can be further classified according to the extent and severity of damage to the kidneys. Types include:- reflux nephropathy- acute uncomplicated pyelonephritis (sudden development of kidney inflammation)- complicated UTI (chronic pyelonephritis).

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Pyelonephritis most commonly occurs as a result of urinary tract infection (cystitis), particularly in the presence of transient(occasional) or persistent backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureters or kidney pelvis (vesicoureteric reflux ).Although cystitis (bladder infection) is common, pyelonephritis occurs much less often. The incidence of pyelonephritis isapproximately 3 to 7 out of 10,000 people. The risk is increased if there is a history of cystitis, renal papillary necrosis, kidneystones, vesicoureteric reflux, or obstructive uropathy . The risk is also increased when there is a history of chronic or recurrenturinary tract infection, and when the infection is caused by a particularly virulent bacteria.Acute pyelonephritis can be severe in the elderly and in people who are immuno suppressed (for example, those with cancer or AIDS) .

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Signs & Symptoms

 flank pain or back pain- severe abdominal pain (occurs occasionally)- fever- higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit- persists for more than 2 days- chills with shaking- warm skin- flushed or reddened skin- moist skin (diaphoresis)- vomiting, nausea- fatigue- general ill feeling- urination, painful- urinary frequency/urgency, increased- need to urinate at night (nocturia)- cloudy or abnormal urine color- blood in the urine- foul or strong urine odor- mental changes or confusion. Often in the elderly person, mental changes or confusion are the only signs of a possible urinary tract infection.

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Prompt and complete treatment of cystitis (bladder infection) may prevent development of many cases of pyelonephritis.Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection should be treated thoroughly because of the chance of infection of the kidneys.

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