Diagnosis of VUR

VUR is commonly diagnosed during infancy or childhood as a result of a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTI is diagnosed using urinalysis and urine culture. VUR that causes hydronephrosis (collection of urine in the renal pelvis) is often diagnosed during prenatal ultrasound.

A cystogram (also called cystourethrogram) and a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) are performed to determine if an abnormality in the urinary tract is causing reflux. In these procedures, a contrast dye is instilled into the bladder through a catheter and a series of x-rays are taken. Other diagnostic tests used to diagnose VUR include the following:

  • Bladder ultrasound (to detect abnormalities that cause reflux)
  • Renal ultrasound and renal scan (to evaluate hydronephrosis, kidney growth, and scarring)
  • Urodynamic studies (e.g., filling cystometrogram, voiding cystometrogram)

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

Published: 10 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 18 Nov 2011