Most infants with dilating vesicoureteral reflux can be treated Nonoperatively

Aaron D. Martin, Muhammad W. Iqbal, Bruce M. Sprague, Mireya Diaz, H. Gil Rushton, Craig A Peters, Massoud Majd, Hans G. Pohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose Dilating vesicoureteral reflux provokes concern for physicians and parents that often leads to corrective surgery in young children. Since there are limited data describing the natural history of dilating vesicoureteral reflux in infants, we identified factors predictive of resolution/improvement in infants initially treated nonoperatively. Materials and Methods We reviewed the medical records of 90 infants 6 months old or younger from 2004 to 2010 who were referred for prenatal hydronephrosis or initial febrile urinary tract infection and found to have dilating vesicoureteral reflux (grade 3 or greater). Variables of interest included presentation, dimercapto-succinic acid results, sex, breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections, reflux grade and bilateral reflux. Cox regression analysis was performed to determine predictors of spontaneous resolution and/or improvement to reflux grade less than 3 as well as predictors of surgical intervention. Results Included in final analysis were 80 infants (113 renal units). Of the patients 51 (64%) experienced spontaneous resolution/improvement with a mean followup of 29 months before resolution, discharge home and/or end of followup. Only 20 patients (25%) underwent surgery. Cox regression analysis revealed that a normal initial dimercapto-succinic acid scan, initial reflux grade less than 5 and absent breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections were predictive of reflux resolution/improvement (p <0.05). Dimercapto-succinic acid scan abnormalities, prenatal hydronephrosis and breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections were significant predictors of surgery (p <0.05). Conclusions Dilating vesicoureteral reflux in infancy often resolves/improves spontaneously. Therefore, surgery should be directed toward patients unlikely to experience resolution, ie those with an abnormal initial dimercapto-succinic acid scan, grade 5 vesicoureteral reflux and breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1620-1627
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5 SUPPL
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • infant
  • ureter
  • urinary bladder
  • urinary tract infections
  • vesico-ureteral reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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