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Recurrent Lower Urinary Tract Infections in Females

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the urinary system. Uncomplicated UTIs, without physical or functional abnormalities of the urinary tract, usually respond to antibiotics and do not require further imaging tests. In contrast, complicated UTIs, in which individuals may suffer from an underlying condition, usually require imaging tests for diagnosis.

Recurrent UTIs occur when individuals suffer from at least three episodes of UTI within a 12-month period. Women who suffer from recurrent complicated lower UTI, including bacterial cystitis, as well as women with underlying risk factors generally require imaging tests for further diagnosis. Imaging tests may also be required if a UTI does not respond to antibiotic treatment.

MRI urography without and with contrast and CT scan urography without and with contrast are usually appropriate imaging tests. Ultrasound, fluoroscopy voiding cystourethrography (bladder filled with contrast using a catheter and images taken while individual is urinating), fluoroscopy cystography (bladder filled with contrast using a catheter and images taken), MRI abdomen/pelvis without and with contrast, MRI abdomen/pelvis without contrast, CT abdomen/pelvis with contrast, CT abdomen/pelvis without contrast, CT abdomen/pelvis without and with contrast, and CT pelvis with bladder contrast may be also be appropriate.

This page was reviewed on July 15, 2022

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