What Is Acute Kidney Pyelonephritis?


Quick Answer

Acute kidney pyelonephritis is a common bacterial infection affecting the kidneys and is typically seen in young women, according to a study published by American Family Physician. Although a severe condition, acute pyelonephritis can usually be managed in an outpatient setting using antibiotics.

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Acute pyelonephritis usually begins as a urinary tract infection that progresses through the ureters into the kidneys, notes Healthline. Escherichia coli commonly causes the condition, but any infection that spreads to the kidneys can also be responsible. Symptoms of acute pyelonephritis vary depending on the age of the patient and usually appear within a few days after infection. Common symptoms include a fever greater than 102 degrees, pain in the groin, cloudy urine, fishy-smelling urine and painful urination. Other symptoms of acute pyelonephritis include shaking, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, mental confusion and general aching.

Anyone with an unusually shaped urinary tract or who has kidney or bladder conditions is at risk for acute pyelonephritis, explains Healthline. Other risk factors for the condition include catheter use, certain medications, urinary tract surgery and cytoscopic examination. To treat acute pyelonephritis, doctors prescribe antibiotics, such as levofloxacin and ampicillin, which can cure it within two to three days. If it is not treated or if it continues to recur, the infection can result in permanent kidney damage, sepsis, acute kidney failure and kidney abscess.

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