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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
VUR is diagnosed using one of two similar tests, called a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) and a radionuclide cystogram (RNC). In these tests, a small catheter is passed through the child’s urethra into the bladder. The bladder is then filled with a liquid that is visible using specialized imaging equipment. If the fluid refluxes backward up to the kidney, VUR is diagnosed. Each test usually takes 15 to 45 minutes. Sometimes it may last longer, if your child does not void (urinate) quickly. Although the RNC and VCUG are similar tests, your doctor may have specific reasons for ordering one or the other.
DMSA renal scan: this is a nuclear medicine study in which a chemical called a radiotracer is injected through an IV into your child’s bloodstream. The radiotracer collects in the kidney (this may take a couple of hours). The child then lies on an imaging table and a special detector creates detailed images of the kidneys. This test gives us important information about the function of each kidney and whether there has been damage from infection.
Kidney ultrasound: this non-invasive test is performed by placing a small probe on the child’s back or abdomen. It can see evidence of kidney growth or obstruction, and sometimes can identify scarring or damage to the kidney tissue. It can also evaluate the bladder for other problems that may lead to urinary tract infection.
If a child is suspected of having a urinary tract infection (UTI), the urine needs to be sampled using special techniques to avoid contamination and false test results. For younger children and infants, this usually means passing a catheter into the bladder to obtain a urine sample. In some cases, a bag will be placed on the child to collect urine, although this method has a high rate of false results. In older, toilet-trained children, the child can void (urinate) into a cup; however, great care must be taken to make sure the urine sample is uncontaminated by germs located on the skin.
Most commonly, we will treat your child for VUR in two ways:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”