Usefulness of blood cultures and radiologic imaging studies in the management of patients with community- acquired acute pyelonephritis

Yeonjae Kim, Mi Ran Seo, Seong Jong Kim, Jieun Kim, Seong Heon Wie, Yong Kyun Cho, Seung Kwan Lim, Jin Seo Lee, Ki Tae Kwon, Hyuck Lee, Hee Jin Cheong, Dae Won Park, Seong Yeol Ryu, Moon Hyun Chung, Hyunjoo Pai

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The objective of this study was to examine the usefulness of blood cultures and radiologic imaging studies for developing therapeutic strategies in community-acquired acute pyelonephritis (CA-APN) patients. Materials and Methods: We prospectively collected the clinical data of CA-APN patients who visited 11 hospitals from March 2010 to February 2011. Results: Positive urine and blood cultures were obtained in 69.3% (568/820) and 42.7% (277/648), respectively, of a total of 827 CA-APN patients. Blood culture identified the urinary pathogen in 60 of 645 (9.3%) patients for whom both urine and blood cultures were performed; the organisms isolated from urine were inconsistent with those from blood in 11 and only blood cultures were positive in 49 patients. Final clinical failure was more common in the bacteremic patients than the non-bacteremic ones (8.0% vs. 2.7%, P = 0.003), as was hospital mortality (3.6% vs. 0.3%, P = 0.003). Likewise, durations of hospitalization and fever were significantly longer. Bacteremia was independent risk factor for mortality (OR 9.290, 1.145-75.392, P = 0.037). With regard to radiologic studies, the detection rate of APN was 84.4% (445/527) by abdominal computed tomography and 40% (72/180) by abdominal ultrasonography. Eighty-one of 683 patients (11.9%) were found to have renal abscess, perinephric abscess, urolithiasis, hydronephorosis/hydroureter or emphysematous cystitis, which could potentially impact on clinical management. Patients with Pitt score ≥1, flank pain or azotemia were significantly more likely to have such structural abnormalities. Conclusion: Blood cultures are clinically useful for diagnosis of CA-APN, and bacteremia is predictive factor for hospital mortality. Early radiologic imaging studies should be considered for CA-APN patients with Pitt scores ≥1, flank pain or azotemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood culture
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Tomography scanners X-ray computed
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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