The urinary tract is divided into two parts:
Uncomplicated UTIs occur when there isn’t a functional or anatomical abnormality. Females are the main target.
Complicated UTIs occur when there’s a functional or anatomical abnormality, such as bladder issues, kidney stones or diabetes mellitus.
In both forms, the most common bacterial cause of UTIs is Pee coli. That is, E. coli. Multidrug-resistant strains are emerging.
Pyelonephritis means inflammation of the renal pelvis. Causes include:
- Ascending UTI, where bacteria march up the urinary tract
- Vesicoureteral reflux, which is where urine goes the wrong way up the urinary tract, due to an anatomical abnormality or blockage
- Fever and chills
- Flank pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Investigations can show leukocytes in the urine and blood, plus other generic markers of infection.
For treatment, collect urine samples before administering antibiotics. For mild cases, oral antibiotics are sufficient. For severe cases, IV antibiotics are warranted.
Cystitis means inflammation of the bladder.
Empirical treatment can be started in non-pregnant females with uncomplicated cystitis. In other cases, collect urine samples before administering antibiotics.
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