Get Quick Facts About VUR

The VUR details you need to know

Here are helpful facts about vesicoureteral reflux (VUR):

  • VUR is a condition in which urine from the bladder backs up into the ureters and kidney
  • VUR affects about 1-2% of children, 38% of them younger than 2 years old1
  • VUR can run in families, or it can develop, due to bladder issues or inflammation
    • If you or your spouse had VUR, it’s possible that your child will too. Children of parents with VUR have a 50% risk of developing it themselves.2
    • Brothers and sisters of a child with VUR are also at risk—VUR is present in 30% of siblings of children with VUR.3
  • VUR is usually found when a child is diagnosed with a recurrent UTI that includes a fever (called a febrile UTI)
    • To diagnose VUR, your doctor may want to run a test called a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG), which involves taking an x-ray of the bladder and ureters during urination
    • Some children will outgrow VUR—this is more likely to happen if your child has a lower grade of VUR
    • Some doctors may suggest a “watch and wait” approach for children with mild cases

VUR is treatable

A doctor who specializes in urinary conditions in children, called a pediatric urologist, is best equipped to discuss your options, so ask your doctor to refer you right away if your child has been diagnosed with VUR.

It’s important to treat febrile UTIs and VUR. VUR allows urine to flow back into the kidney and urine with bacteria reaching the kidneys may cause inflammation and long-term kidney damage.

Ask your doctor to refer you to a pediatric urologist once your child is diagnosed with VUR

References:
  1. Hains DS, Cohen HL, McCarville MB, et al. Elucidation of renal scars in children with vesicoureteral reflux using contrast-enhanced ultrasound: a pilot study. Kidney Int. Rep. 2017;2(3):420-424.
  2. Elder JS. Vesicoureteral reflux. In: Kliegman R, Nelson WE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders; 2011:1834-1838.
  3. Baskin LS, Kogan BA, Stock JA. Handbook of Pediatric Urology Third Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2019.