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A to Z: Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR)

May also be called: VUR

Vesicoureteral (ves-ih-koe-yoo-REE-ter-ul) reflux, or VUR, is a condition in which urine (pee) abnormally flows backward (or refluxes) from the bladder into the ureters (tubes that carry the urine out of each kidney).

More to Know

Normally, urine is made in the kidneys and flows to the bladder through thin tubes called ureters. But sometimes a congenital (present at birth) condition can cause urine to flow backward from the bladder to ureters. This can be due to defects in the ureter or blockages in the urinary system.

If backed-up urine reaches the kidneys, it can lead to urinary tract and kidney infections (UTIs) and scarring of the kidney over time. In some cases, vesicoureteral reflux can eventually lead to long-term problems like kidney damage and kidney failure.

VUR is most common in infants and young children, but can affect people of any age. Treatment depends upon the severity of the condition. Many kids outgrow VUR and benefit from daily treatment with a small amount of antibiotic to help prevent UTIs. More severe cases may require surgery to correct the VUR.

Keep in Mind

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of VUR usually is enough to prevent kidney damage. Most kids with mild forms of vesicoureteral reflux outgrow it with no long-term complications.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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