Kidney damage is the primary concern with vesicoureteral reflux. The more severe the reflux, the more serious the complications are likely to be. Complications may include:

  • Kidney (renal) scarring. Untreated UTIs can lead to scarring, also known as reflux nephropathy, which is permanent damage to kidney tissue. A backup of urine exposes the kidneys to higher than normal pressure, which can lead to scarring over time. Extensive scarring may lead to high blood pressure and kidney failure.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Because the kidneys remove waste from the bloodstream, damage to your kidneys and the resultant buildup of wastes can raise your blood pressure.
  • Kidney failure. Scarring can cause a loss of function in the filtering part of the kidney. This may lead to kidney failure, which can occur quickly (acute) or it may develop over time (chronic). In either case, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be necessary. Dialysis is an artificial means of removing extra fluids and waste from your blood.
Jul. 16, 2011