Ordering of renal tract imaging by paediatricians after urinary tract infection

Gabrielle J. Williams, Premala Sureshkumar, Siew Foong Chan, Petra MacAskill, Jonathan C. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aim:  To describe paediatricians’ reported ordering of renal tract imaging of children following urinary tract infection.

Methods:  This is a piloted self‐administered survey. A total of 354 randomly sampled practising paediatricians in Australia participated in the survey. The survey included 12 clinical scenarios that varied with age, gender and fever. Respondents indicated their likelihood of ordering renal ultrasound, micturating cystourethrogram (MCU) and dimercaptosuccinic acid scan (DMSA) from 0 to 100%.

Results:  Response rate was 74.6% (264/354). For all clinical scenarios the median probability of ordering an ultrasound was 100% with little variability. For children aged 2 months, likelihood of ordering an MCU was 100%, with little variability, but was 70% for 3‐year‐olds with fever (45% without fever), and 5% for 6‐year‐olds with very large variability. Median likelihood of ordering a DMSA was 80% at 2 months, 60% at 3 years and 20% at 6 years (40%, 15%, 5% without fever, respectively). Variability was large for all scenarios and DMSA ordering. Child gender did not influence ordering practices.

Conclusions:  Renal tract imaging practice across paediatricians shows consistent, ∼100% use of the least invasive modality, ultrasound. In contrast, there is considerable variation in the reported ordering of the more invasive tests MCU and DMSA. Doctors order these tests more in younger children and when fever is present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • dimercaptosuccinic acid scan
  • micturating cystourethrogram
  • practice pattern
  • renal parenchymal damage
  • ultrasound
  • vesicoureteric reflux


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