Overview of Kidney Infection

The kidneys are an important component of the urinary system. These organs process blood; filter out waste; and flush out waste as urine, which travels to the bladder through tubes called ureters and is eliminated from the body through the urethra.

The kidneys also keep certain chemicals balanced and produce hormones that help maintain blood pressure, red blood cell count, and healthy bones.

Kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, often results when a bacterial infection moves from the lower urinary tract (e.g., bladder, urethra) to the kidneys. While kidney infections are not as common as other urinary tract infections (UTIs), they are more serious and require prompt medical attention.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 04 Jun 2007

Last Modified: 27 Feb 2014