What is it?

Kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is a condition in which an infection in the urethra or bladder travels to the kidneys. Typically, pyelonephritis is caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract. Rarely, bacteria from other parts of the body can spread to the bloodstream and reach the kidneys. Also, the kidneys may also be infected after surgery. If not treated, kidney infection may lead to kidney permanent scarring and damage or to a blood sepsis. Risk factors for kidney infections are being a female, having a blockage in the urinary tract, a weakened immune system, damage to the nerves around the bladder, using a urinary catheter, and vesicoureteral reflux.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Pyeloureteritis Cystica
- Ureteritis cystica
- Pyelonephritis
- Renal and Perirenal Abscess

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of kidney infections include fever, chills, back, flank or groin pain, abdominal pain, frequent urination, persistent urge to urinate, burning sensation while urinating, nausea, vomiting, bloody urine and a bad-smelling urine.


Diagnosis of kidney infection is based upon findings in physical history and physical examination. Then, A urine test and a urine culture may be performed, testing for bacteria, blood or pus. Blood tests and culture may also look for signs of infection and the bacteria. Kidney US/ CT-scans can also be done.


Treatment of kidney infection is with antibiotics. The kind of antibiotics depends on the bacteria suspected or cultured. Sometimes, antibiotics are given intravenously, requiring hospitalization.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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