Renal pelvis inflammation (pyelonephritis)

Pyelonephritis is an inflammation of the renal pelvis, partially involving the kidney tissue. The cause is usually an unnoticed or poorly treated urinary infection, as the bacteria are already primarily in the upper urinary tract or reach up into the kidneys and thus trigger a strong inflammatory response.

Symptoms are often severe flank pain (no typical colic) with burning when urinating and a high fever with chills. A renal pelvis inflammation subjectively accompanied by a strong malaise. The disease as such is not dangerous and usually leaves no permanent damage. A combined obstruction of urine causes complications and can be dangerous for the patient. Pyelonephritis and a concomitant congestion can lead to a life-threatening situation with sepsis and circulatory failure within a few hours. It is therefore of utmost importance, to primarily exclude congestion for every pyelonephritis or to conduct tests in order to assess the likelihood of developing a congestion (e.g. ureteral). Pyelonephritis may last for up to three weeks and is characterised by recurrent episodes of fever.


Urine and blood tests
Computed tomography of the urinary tract and the abdominal cavity


If at any level of the urinary tract there is congestion, this congestion needs to be treated first with, e.g. a urinary catheter, Ureteral stent (Pigtail) or by direct drainage through the back into the renal pelvis ((Nephrostomy)). As a second step, a high-dose antibiotic treatment is needed. Physical care and rest is recommended.

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