National Trends in the Management of Primary Vesicoureteral Reflux in Children

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Abstract

Purpose

In September 2011 the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) released updated guidelines for the evaluation of children 2 to 24 months old with a febrile urinary tract infection. We documented the impact of the guideline on diagnosis and surgical management of vesicoureteral reflux at U.S. children’s hospitals. We hypothesized that voiding cystourethrogram studies and the vesicoureteral reflux treatment rate decreased concurrent with the national guideline release.

Materials and Methods

The Pediatric Health Information System was queried for children (younger than 18 years) with primary vesicoureteral reflux and their antireflux surgical history from January 2004 to June 2015. Voiding cystourethrogram orders were recorded. Interrupted time series analysis quantified trends surrounding several seminal vesicoureteral reflux publications (2007) and guideline publication (2011).

Results

A total of 43,341 voiding cystourethrogram encounters (male 23,946 [55.3%]) were identified for patients at a median age of 3 months (IQR 1–20). For all children monthly voiding cystourethrogram orders increased (+1.0 to +1.6 encounters per month, p <0.034) to September 2011, then sharply declined by 106 encounters per month from September to October 2011 (p <0.001) then did not change significantly (p=0.096, R2=0.79). For those children 2 to 24 months old with a urinary tract infection (3,379 records; male 1,384 [41.0%], median age 4 months [IQR 3–7]) voiding cystourethrograms gradually increased from January 2007 to September 2011 (+0.1 encounters per month, p=0.036), then similarly decreased by 21 encounters per month from September to October 2011 (p <0.001), then did not change significantly (p=0.064, R2=0.78). Overall 28,484 procedures for primary vesicoureteral reflux were identified (male 5,950 [20.9%], median age 4.8 years [IQR 2.5–7.2]). Total surgical procedures did not change significantly until October 2011, then declined (-1.5 procedures per month, p <0.001, R2=0.66).

Conclusions

The number of voiding cystourethrograms ordered nationally in all children and those with a urinary tract infection decreased sharply with the 2011 AAP urinary tract infection guideline release and did not change thereafter. A steady decline in procedures for primary vesicoureteral reflux occurred after October 2011.

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