Long-term follow-up of premature infants with urinary tract infection

Lotem Goldberg*, Yael Borovitz, Nir Sokolover, Asaf Lebel, Miriam Davidovits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is common in preterm infants and may have long-term sequela, such as recurrent infections and renal scarring in older children. We assessed long-term outcomes of preterm infants with UTI, born during 1996–2008 in Schneider Children’s Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and incidence of UTI recurrence. Of 89 preterm infants, seven were excluded due to prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), 41 interviewed by phone, 18 presented for follow-up evaluation in the nephrology clinic, and 23 lost to follow-up. No patient who completed follow-up reported additional UTI episodes or issues related to kidney and urinary tract. Clinically evaluated participants were 17.1 ± 3.6 years, born prematurely at 29.4 ± 4 weeks. All had a normal estimated glomerular filtration rate of >90 ml/min/1.73m2; four (22%) had systolic blood pressure >90th percentile; none had proteinuria (mean protein/creatinine ratio 0.09 ± 0.04 mg/mg) or albuminuria (mean albumin/creatinine ratio 10.2 ± 6.3 mcg/mg). Renal ultrasonography done in the first years of life in 12 (66%) patients demonstrated normal kidney size and structure. Conclusion: In this pilot study, a single episode of UTI in premature infants without CAKUT did not constitute a risk factor for recurrence of infections or kidney injury in their first two decades of life. Thus, normal ultrasound in NICU excluding CAKUT may be sufficient for premature patients with UTI, with no need of further imaging or long-term nephrology follow-up.What is Known:• Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections in neonates and premature infants. Risk factors for UTI recurrence in children are congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) and bladder and bowel dysfunction.• The recurrence rate and long-term renal sequela of UTI in preterm infants have not been studied. Guidelines regarding management and long-term follow-up for infants less than 2 months old are lacking.What is New:• A single episode of UTI in premature infants without CAKUT probably does not constitute a risk factor for UTI recurrence, and it is unlikely to cause renal injury in the first two decades of life.• For premature infants with UTI without sonographic diagnosis of CAKUT in NICU, prophylactic antibiotic treatment, further imaging, or long-term nephrology follow-up may be unnecessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3059-3066
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • NICU
  • Prematurity
  • Preterm
  • Urinary tract infection


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