Any infection/inflammation of urinary tract can involve urinary bladder and/or kidneys, accordingly its called as cystitis and/or pyelonephritis respectively.
Urinary tract infection are much common among women than men & those with poor immunity like those with diabetes mellitus, those on chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive medications, structural abnormalities of urinary tract, presence of renal stones.
UTI can present as burning micturition, increased frequency of micturition, lower abdominal pain or fever. When kidneys are involved, patients develop fever, back pain, chills. When infection is untreated it can result in sepsis, renal failure & involvement of other organs like liver, heart etc., which can be fatal.
When diagnosed early, UTIs can be treated as outpatient with oral tablets. Any worsening may need admission & parenteral antibiotics. Any complications arising out of UTI like renal papillary necrosis, obstruction of tract must be treated appropriately to prevent long term complications.
Attention should be paid to recurrent UTI, particularly in women that can lead to emotional disturbance, frequent hospital visits, investigations & poor quality of life.
UTIs can be simple or complicated, cystitis or pyelonephritis, with or without organ failure. UTIs should be approached methodically to prevent organ failure and/or loss of life.