Journal Article

Conservative treatment and anti‐reflux surgery in adults with vesico‐ureteral reflux: effect on urinary‐tract infections, renal function and loin pain in a long‐term follow‐up study

Jan Köhler, Hans Thysell, Jan Tencer, Lillemor Forsberg and Mikael Hellström

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 16, issue 1, pages 52-60
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/16.1.52
Conservative treatment and anti‐reflux surgery in adults with vesico‐ureteral reflux: effect on urinary‐tract infections, renal function and loin pain in a long‐term follow‐up study

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Study purpose. To investigate the long‐term effects in adults of conservative treatment and anti‐reflux surgery for vesico‐ureteral reflux on urinary‐tract infections, renal function, and loin pain.

Methods. Of 115 adult patients with vesico‐ureteral reflux diagnosed between 1968 and 1984, conservative treatment was given to 46 patients (36 women) and anti‐reflux surgery was performed in 57 patients (52 women). The remaining 12 patients underwent nephrectomy or heminephrectomy and were excluded from the study. The anti‐reflux surgical methods used were the Politano–Leadbetter procedure in 44 patients (73 ureters) and the Hutch procedure in 19 patients (25 ureters). Six of these patients were operated on with both methods.

Results. The frequency of acute pyelonephritis was significantly reduced after anti‐reflux surgery (P< 0.0001) as well as after diagnosis of vesico‐ureteral reflux in the group given conservative treatment (P<0.001). The frequency of lower‐urinary‐tract infections was not altered in either group. Surgery had no effect on significant albuminuria (Albustix® ≥2+) or on progressive renal functional deterioration. Forty‐three patients reported recurrent loin pain at the time of diagnosis or anti‐reflux surgery. Only one of the 12 patients in the conservative group, compared with 29 of the 31 patients in the anti‐reflux surgery group, obtained relief from loin pain during the follow‐up. Nine patients in the anti‐reflux surgery group reported restitution of reduced general well‐being after surgery. These patients had experienced weariness and/or headache before surgery. Vesico‐ureteral reflux was eliminated more frequently (P<0.01) in the patients operated on by the Politano–Leadbetter procedure (94%) than in those operated on by the Hutch procedure (68%).

Conclusions. Loin pain is common in adults with vesico‐ureteral reflux and is effectively eliminated by anti‐reflux surgery. Anti‐reflux surgery should be considered in adults with vesico‐ureteral reflux and very frequent acute pyelonephritic attacks only if conservative treatment has failed to alleviate these symptoms. Anti‐reflux surgery is not indicated with the aim of arresting renal functional deterioration.

Keywords: anti‐reflux surgery; loin pain; renal function; uretero‐vesical obstruction; urinary‐tract infection; vesico‐ureteral reflux

Journal Article.  6075 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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