Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR)

Healthy kidneys filter waste from the blood, producing urine which normally flows only one direction: down the ureters and into the bladder. When something is wrong with the connection between the ureter and the bladder, the urine may flow back up (reflux) from the bladder to the ureters and at times to the kidneys.

If you have had vesicoureteral reflux as a child, there is a chance that your children will have the condition. In addition, if one of your children has it, his or her brothers and sisters may also have the condition, too.

Infrequent or incomplete urination, as well as constipation, are also associated with vesicoureteral reflux in children. Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) may indicate the presence of vesicoureteral reflux.

 
How is Vesicoureteral Reflux In Children Diagnosed and Treated?

Your Nemours pediatric urologist may order a test called a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) that uses X-rays and a special dye to show how your child’s bladder is working. This test can help determine if your child has vesicoureteral reflux.

Vesicoureteral reflux in children is graded on a scale from I (mild) to V (severe). Many times, milder grades of vesicoureteral reflux will go away on their own as your child grows and develops.However, UTIs in the presence of vesicoureteral reflux can cause kidney infections, which can lead to scarring and sometimes result in kidney damage.

Depending on the severity of the vesicoureteral reflux in your child, your Nemours urologist may discuss several treatment options, including antibiotics to prevent infections, surgery to repair the ureters, or endoscopic treatment in which a small telescope is inserted through the bladder and a gel is placed at the point where the ureter meets the bladder.

A to Z: Neurogenic Bladder

A to Z: Neurogenic Bladder

The term neurogenic bladder refers to a bladder that doesn't function properly because of nervous system damage.

More to Know

Functions like filling, storing, and emptying the bladder are regulated by nerves. When these nerves become damaged, nerve signals are disrupted and loss of bladder control results.

Neurogenic bladder is often caused by an injury, tumor, or defect of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Diseases like cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and neural tube defects like spina bifida also can be responsible. Sometimes nerve damage due to heavy, long-term alcohol use, diabetes, or a slipped disk will cause the problem.

Symptoms of neurogenic bladder may include frequent urination (peeing), inability to fully empty the bladder, incontinence (the accidental release of urine), and urinary retention (inability to urinate). People with the disorder are also more likely to develop urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Treatment for neurogenic bladder might include medication, strengthening exercises, or the use of a urinary catheter. Some people will need surgery to help ease symptoms.

Keep in Mind

Neurogenic bladder is not curable, but it is manageable. It's important to see a doctor as soon as the condition develops, however. Left untreated it can lead to kidney failure, which can be life threatening.

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

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Date reviewed: September 26, 2016