Chronic Pyelonephritis refers to repeated or persistent kidney infection over a long period of time. This is not as common as the acute form. It majorly affects children and people with obstruction along the urinary tract or inherent distortion of the urinary tract.
The symptoms experienced by persons with chronic pyelonephritis may be vague and nonspecific. Sometimes, symptoms may be absent. Listed below are some of the symptoms you may feel:
Chronic kidney infection is usually due to partial obstruction to urine flow, leading to reflux of infected urine back into the kidneys. This obstruction may be due to scaring along the urinary tract following previous urinary tract infection or surgery; kidney, ureteric or bladder stone; tumour along the urinary tract etc.
Urinalysis may reveal urinary sediments, granular casts and kidney epithelial cells as well as pus cells. Protein in urine is more common and may be massive, depending on the amount of damage the kidneys have undergone due to reflux of urine from the bladder through the ureters into the kidneys.
Urine culture for identification of the organism and antibiotics sensitivity of the organism is necessary as there may be resistance due to repeated use of antibiotics. Culture may be negative or positive for bacteria, mainly Escherichia coli and other gram-negative bacteria.
Imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT scan and intravenous urography (IVU) are particularly important here to detect the site of obstruction or structural abnormality of the urinary tract.