Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR)
Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) can only be diagnosed by a test called a cystogram, in which a catheter is placed in the bladder and the bladder filled with fluid. This allows your doctors to see the reverse flow of urine toward the kidney.
If you have a family history of VUR, but your child has no symptoms, your child's physician may elect to perform a diagnostic test to rule out VUR. Some of the tests that are used in children with VUR may include:
- Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG): A specific x-ray test that examines your child’s urinary tract. The bladder is filled with contrast using a catheter, and x-ray picture are taken. The images will show if there is any reverse flow of urine into the ureters and kidneys (VUR).
- Radionuclide cystogram (RNC): An RNC is similar to a VCUG except a different fluid is used to highlight your child’s urinary tract.
- Renal ultrasound: The test is used to determine the size and shape of your child’s kidneys, and to detect scars, kidney stones, cysts or other obstruction or abnormalities.
- DMSA renal scan: A test that provides very detailed information about the shape and condition of the kidneys, including scars and function.
- Urodynamics: Some children with VUR will have their bladder function tested by measuring bladder volume, pressure and emptying. It is performed to determine how a child’s bladder function may be contributing to her VUR.
- Blood tests: To see how well your child’s kidneys are working.
- Urinalysis and urine culture: Laboratory tests that examine the urine. These tests can indicate microscopic blood or protein in the urine, other chemicals, or evidence of a UTI. In young children who are not toilet trained, the urine may sometimes be collected with a catheter to ensure that the sample is clean and pure.
- VUR Resolution rate calculator: Unique to Children’s Hospital Boston, this is an online tool that can help predict your child’s chance of resolving VUR. By entering in your child’s characteristics, the calculator will provide a probability that your child’s VUR will resolve on its own, without surgery.