Pronounced: VEH-sih-co-ya-REET-uh-rul REE-fluxEn Español (Spanish Version)
Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is the backward flow of urine. The urine flows from the bladder back into the kidneys.
Urine normally flows out from the kidneys. It passes through tubes called ureters. It then flows into the bladder. Each ureter connects to the bladder in a way that prevents urine from flowing back up the ureter. This connection is similar to a one-way valve. When this does not work properly, or if the ureters do not extend far enough into the bladder, urine may flow back up to the kidney. If the urine contains bacteria, the kidney may become infected. The back-up can also put extra pressure on the kidney. This can cause kidney damage.
This is a potentially serious condition. It requires care from a doctor. Early treatment and prevention of infections can lead to better outcomes. If you suspect your child has this condition, call the doctor right away.
The Urinary Tract
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Common causes of VUR include:
- A problem in the way the ureter inserts into the bladder
- A ureter that does not extend far enough into the bladder
- Neurogenic bladder (loss of normal bladder function due to damaged nerves reaching the bladder)
Last reviewedMarch 2014by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.