July 27, 2016

Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)

Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)

What is a kidney infection, and are kidney and urinary tract infection the same?

The main components of the urinary tract system are kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Any part of the urinary system may become infected and this is generally referred to as urinary tract infection (UTI). When a kidney becomes infected, the condition is medically referred to as pyelonephritis. Thus, kidney infection is only one of several types of infections encompassed by the term UTI. The spectrum of UTIs includes:

  • Acute uncomplicated cystitis (bladder infection)
  • Recurrent cystitis
  • Complicated UTI
  • Prostatitis (prostate infection)
  • Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
  • Catheter-associated UTI (in individuals with indwelling urinary catheters)

A more general classification of urinary tract infection is the following:

  • Lower urinary tract infection involves the urethra, the bladder, and, in men, the prostate gland.
  • Upper urinary tract infection refers to infection of the kidneys. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 7/27/2015
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