SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS OF UTI
Newborns and infants with a UTI may have no symptoms other than a fever. Sometime they do not eat well and have sluggishness or lethargy, vomiting or diarrhoea. Older children with bladder infections usually have pain or burning wit urination, increased urinary frequency, and pain in the bladder regional. Children with kidney infections typically have pain in the side or back over the affected kidney, fever, and a general feeling of illness (malaise).
A doctor diagnoses a UTI by examining the urine. Toilet-trained children may provide a urine sample by urinating into a cup after thoroughly cleaning the urethral opening. Doctors obtain urine from younger children and infants by inserting a thin, flexible, sterile tube or catheter through the urethral opening into the bladder. Urine collected in plastic bags taped to the child’s genital region is not helpful because it is often contaminated with bacteria and other material from the skin.
To detect, white blood cells and bacteria in the urine, which occur in UTI, the laboratory examines the urine under a microscope and performs several chemical tests. The laboratory also performs a culture of the urine to grow and identify any bacteria present. The culture is the most significant of these tests.
In general, boys of all ages and girls younger than 2 to 3 years who develop even a single UTI need further tests to look for structural abnormalities of the urinary system. Such tests are also performed on older girls who had recurring infections. The tests include ultrasound, which identifies kidney abnormalities and obstruction, and voiding cystourethrography, a catheter is passed through the urethra in the bladder, a dye is instilled through the catheter, and x-rays are taken before and after urinating. Another test, radio contrast cystourethrography, is similar to voiding cystourethrography, except that a radioactive agent is placed in the bladder and images are taken using a nuclear scanner. This procedure exposes the child’s ovaries or testes to less radiation than voiding cystourethrography. However, radiocontrastcystourethrography is much more useful for following the healing of reflux rather than in its initial diagnosis, because it does not outline the structures as well/ another type of nuclear scan may be used to confirm the diagnosis of pyelonephritis and identify scarring of the kidneys.