Once the infection has cleared, your child's health care provider may suggest more tests, particularly if your child has been treated for a kidney infection. The tests are to make sure there are no problems in the urinary tract that might keep your child's body from fighting off infection, and to see whether there has been any damage to the kidney from the UTI. No single test can tell everything about the urinary tract that might be important to know after a UTI, so many tests are often ordered. If these tests show something abnormal in the urinary tract, your health care provider may want your child to see a pediatric urologist (a health care provider who specializes in problems of the urinary system in children).
The tests may include:
Kidney and/or Bladder Ultrasonography (Ultrasound)
This test gets pictures of the kidney and bladder using sound waves. This test may show shadows that point to some kinds of abnormalities, like blockages, but can't show all important urinary tract abnormalities. It also can't tell how well the kidney is working.
Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)
This test can show abnormalities of the inside of the urethra and bladder, and if urine flow is normal when the bladder empties. It also shows if urine from the bladder is backing up into the ureters (vesicoureteral reflux) and whether it reaches the kidneys. For this test a small, soft tube (catheter) is placed into the urethra. A liquid that can be seen on x-rays is then put into the bladder through the tube until your child urinates.
There are different kinds of scans of the bladder and kidneys, and each can give different kinds of information. These scans use liquids that have tiny amounts of a radioactive tracer in them. From these tests, a health care provider can sometimes tell how well the kidneys work, the shape of the kidneys, and if the urine empties from the kidneys or bladder in a normal way. Though the liquids used have radioactive matter in them, the amount is very small and will not hurt your child.
CT Scan or MRI
These tests look at the bladder and kidneys in 3-D. They are sometimes used in cases where other studies are not clear and more details of these organs may be needed.