Renal abscess or kidney abscess is a collection of pus around kidney. Pus is formed following infection of soft tissue around the kidneys or infection of peripheral kidney tissue. Renal abscess is an uncommon disease caused by trauma and infection associated with kidney stone.
Kidney abscess is classified as either microscopic abscess or macroscopic (large quantity) abscess. Microscopic renal abscess is rare and can cause renal failure. Microscopic renal abscess is embedded in the kidney tissue.
In macroscopic Renal Abscess,
- Collection of purulent pus is observed within the kidney tissue.
- Renal Abscess follows Acute Pyelonephritis.
- Pyelonephritis causes vasospasm (narrowing of the artery) and inflammation of the kidney, which may follow with formation of an abscess around kidney.
The Causes Of Renal Abscess
- Urinary Tract Infection : Infection of ureter, bladder and urethra may spread in to kidney causing pyelonephritis and kidney abscess.
- Bacteremia : Distant infection such as Pneumonia or peritonitis spreads in to blood. The bacterial spread through blood is known as bacteremia. Arterial blood carries bacteria into kidney tissue and causes pyelonephritis or focal kidney abscess.
- Mycoplasma Infection : Perirenal or kidney abscess caused by mycoplasma hominis is observed following kidney transplant.
- Urinary Tract Stone : Urinary tract stone causes damage of ureter, which follows infection. Infection spreads into kidney causing kidney abscess.
- Vesico-Ureteral Reflux : In normal situation, contraction of urinary bladder causes flow of urine in to urethra. Occasionally, in few patient urine flows in reverse direction into ureter and kidney. The bacterial colony from urinary bladder spreads into kidney.
- Kidney Inflammation : Kidney inflammation creates the condition for kidney infection. Kidney infection results in kidney abscess.
- Intravenous Drug Abuse.
- Neurogenic Bladder.
Renal Abscess Risk Factors Includes:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Elderly Patients – 65 years and over
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Autoimmune Disease
What are the Symptoms of Renal Abscess?
Non-specific symptoms of Renal Abscess
- Weight loss
Specific Symptoms of Renal Abscess
- Fever with chills
- Uncontrollable shaking or shivering
- Temperature- 112 to 1040 F
- Excessive Sweating
- Abdominal Pain
- Painful Urination
- Bloody Urine
- Pale Skin
How Renal Abscess can be Treated
Treatment Options For Renal Abscess is greatly dependent on what exactly caused the abscess to form in the first place.
Generally, antibiotics are being used to treat any infections in the kidneys. Some of the antibiotics the doctor may prescribe can be orally taken whiles others are administered intravenously.
Hypertension, diabetes or any other disease found to be the precipitating factor for the renal abscess needs to be treated accordingly. The doctor will prescribe the right anti hypertensive or anti diabetic medication.
Percutaneous drainage may need to be done also to empty the abscess. Here, the abscess is drained from outside instrumentally and a catheter is left for continuous drain and daily injection of antibiotics.
When renal absecess are left untreated or are not properly treated, they can result in several debilitating complications which can include:
- Emphysematous Pyelonephritis (EPN) : This is a serious complication that results in rapid deterioration of general condition and destruction of kidney tissue. Severe bacterial infection results in production of toxic gases. The exact cause of Emphysematous Pyelonephritis (EPN) is not known and it is observed in diabetic patients only.
- Kidney Failure : Kidney infection can cause severe kidney damage that results in kidney failure.
- Hypertension : Hypertension is observed in almost all patients suffering with Emphysematous Pyelonephritis (EPN).
Abscess of the kidney can best be prevented if there is timely, conservative and surgical treatment of patients with acute pyelonephritis as well as reducing other risk factors that can lead to renal abscess.