Pediatric vesicoureteral reflux guidelines panel summary report: Clinical practice guidelines for screening siblings of children with vesicoureteral reflux and neonates/infants with prenatal hydronephrosis

Steven J. Skoog, Craig A Peters, Billy S. Arant, Hillary L. Copp, Jack S. Elder, R. Guy Hudson, Antoine E. Khoury, Armando J. Lorenzo, Hans G. Pohl, Ellen Shapiro, Warren T. Snodgrass, Mireya Diaz

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Purpose: The American Urological Association established the Vesicoureteral Reflux Guideline Update Committee in July 2005 to update the management of primary vesicoureteral reflux in children guideline. The Panel defined the task into 5 topics pertaining to specific vesicoureteral reflux management issues, which correspond to the management of 3 distinct index patients and the screening of 2 distinct index patients. This report summarizes the existing evidence pertaining to screening of siblings and offspring of index patients with vesicoureteral reflux and infants with prenatal hydronephrosis. From this evidence clinical practice guidelines are developed to manage the clinical scenarios insofar as the data permit. Materials and Methods: The Panel searched the MEDLINE® database from 1994 to 2008 for all relevant articles dealing with the 5 chosen guideline topics. The database was reviewed and each abstract segregated into a specific topic area. Exclusions were case reports, basic science, secondary reflux, review articles and not relevant. The extracted article to be accepted should have assessed a cohort of children, clearly stating the number of children undergoing screening for vesicoureteral reflux. Vesicoureteral reflux should have been diagnosed with a cystogram and renal outcomes assessed by nuclear scintigraphy. The screening articles were extracted into data tables developed to evaluate epidemiological factors, patient and renal outcomes, and results of treatment. The reporting of meta-analysis of observational studies elaborated by the MOOSE group was followed. The extracted data were analyzed and formulated into evidence-based recommendations regarding the screening of siblings and offspring in index cases with vesicoureteral reflux and infants with prenatal hydronephrosis. Results: In screened populations the prevalence of vesicoureteral reflux is 27.4% in siblings and 35.7% in offspring. Prevalence decreases at a rate of 1 screened person every 3 months of age. The prevalence is the same in males and females. Bilateral reflux prevalence is similar to unilateral reflux. Grade III reflux is estimated to be present in 16.7% and grade IIIV reflux in 9.8% of screened patients. The estimate for renal cortical abnormalities overall is 19.3%, with 27.8% having renal damage in cohorts of symptomatic and asymptomatic children combined. In asymptomatic siblings only the rate of renal damage is 14.4%. There are presently no randomized, controlled trials of treated vs untreated screened siblings with vesicoureteral reflux to evaluate health outcomes as spontaneous resolution, decreased rates of urinary infection, pyelonephritis or renal scarring. In screened populations with prenatal hydronephrosis the prevalence of vesicoureteral reflux is 16.2%. Reflux in the contralateral nondilated kidney accounted for a mean of 25.2% of detected cases for a mean prevalence of 4.1%. In patients with a normal postnatal renal ultrasound the prevalence of reflux is 17%. The prenatal anteroposterior renal pelvic diameter was not predictive of reflux prevalence. A diameter of 4 mm is associated with a 10% to 20% prevalence of vesicoureteral reflux. The prevalence of reflux is statistically significantly greater in females (23%) than males (16%) (p=0.022). Reflux grade distribution is approximately a third each for grades III, III and IVV. The estimate of renal damage in screened infants without infection is 21.8%. When stratified by reflux grade renal damage was estimated to be present in 6.2% grade IIII and 47.9% grade IVV (p <0.0001). The risk of urinary tract infection in patients with and without prenatal hydronephrosis and vesicoureteral reflux could not be determined. The incidence of reported urinary tract infection in patients with reflux was 4.2%. Conclusions: The meta-analysis provided meaningful information regarding screening for vesicoureteral reflux. However, the lack of randomized clinical trials for screened patients to assess clinical health outcomes has made evidence-based guideline recommendations difficult. Consequently, screening guidelines are based on present practice, risk assessment, meta-analysis results and Panel consensus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1151
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2010



  • child
  • hydronephrosis
  • kidney
  • ureter
  • vesico-ureteral reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Medicine(all)

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