Renal and perirenal abscesses in patients with otherwise anatomically normal urinary tracts

Tung Shu, Justin M. Green, Eduardo Orihuela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose: We characterized evaluation, management and outcomes in a group of patients diagnosed with renal and perirenal abscesses who had otherwise anatomically normal urinary tracts. Materials and Methods: We reviewed our experience with renal/perirenal abscesses at University of Texas Medical Branch from 1991 to 2002. Treatment was determined by physician preference in each individual. Results: Of 70 patients with renal/perirenal abscesses 26 had otherwise anatomically normal urinary tracts, 24 (92%) had at least 1 possible contributory factor, such as diabetes mellitus, and only 38% had the correct diagnosis at initial presentation. The abscess was intranephric in 39% of cases, intranephric and perinephric in 19%, and perinephric only in 42%. Of the 26 patients 18 were treated with percutaneous drainage or aspiration of the abscess and 12 (66.7%) had positive cultures. Eight of the 12 patients (67%) with positive abscess cultures had the same organism in urine and/or blood. All 26 patients were treated with broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics. In most patients abscess size influenced additional treatments, such as percutaneous needle aspiration or catheter drainage. None of the patients required open surgical drainage, nephrectomy or nephrostomy tube placement. At a mean followup of 10 months all patients had complete radiographic resolution of the abscess without further complications except 1 who had pyelonephritis and another who was found to have a poorly perfused kidney. Conclusions: With accurate diagnosis and minimally invasive therapy patients with renal and/or perirenal abscesses and otherwise anatomically normal urinary tracts have excellent functional and anatomical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-150
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Abscess
  • Kidney
  • Urinary tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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