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UTI referral query

GPs may not need to refer all children with urinary tract infections for further investigation, concludes new research which questions guidance.

A study of 195 children with UTIs assessed by ultrasound in a general paediatric clinic found the incidence of clinically significant abnormalities was only 4.6 per cent.

Referring only those aged under two or with upper tract features, recurrent UTIs or a positive family history would have reduced investigations by 60 per cent without missing abnormalities, the study found.

The researchers, who will present their findings at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health spring meeting next month, said the findings raised doubts about the current guidelines, which advise investigating all children.

Study leader Professor Alan Watson, professor of paediatric nephrology at the University of Nottingham, said: 'This study suggests we don't need to investigate children who don't have risk factors. We should probably concentrate on the very young and those with recurrent UTIs or systemic features.'

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