Acute Pyelonephritis

What Is Acute Pyelonephritis?

Acute Pyelonephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys, caused by a bacterial infection. In some cases, it can lead to kidney failure. It is a potentially life-threatening illness that, if left untreated, can cause permanent kidney damage. People of all ages are susceptible to acute pyelonephritis.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Pyelonephritis

The signs and symptoms of acute pyelonephritis can vary, but common symptoms include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the lower back, abdomen and groin
  • Bloody, cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Intense and frequent urge to urinate
  • Difficulty urinating

Causes of Acute Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis usually occurs when bacteria travels from the bowel and enters the skin around and inside the urethra — the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

Common bacteria which can cause acute pyelonephritis include:

  • E. Coli
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Proteus mirabilis
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Enterococci

Treatment for Acute Pyelonephritis

The common treatment for acute pyelonephritis is antibiotic therapy. Initial treatment is usually with intravenous antibiotics. In mild cases, oral antibiotics may be used.

Patients will also need to rest and increase their fluid intake to help the body fight off the infection.

Prevention of Acute Pyelonephritis

Some steps people can take to reduce their risk of contracting acute pyelonephritis include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids to keep the urinary tract flushed out
  • Wiping from front to back after urinating and defecating to reduce the risk of transferring bacteria from the anus to the urethra
  • Maintaining good personal hygiene
  • Getting prompt medical care for recurrent UTIs