Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR): Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose VUR?

VUR is usually diagnosed after a child has a urinary tract infection with a fever, but can be identified before the child is born on prenatal ultrasound. A VCUG x-ray of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra is necessary to evaluate and diagnose VUR.

Once diagnosed, the VUR is graded. The grade of VUR indicates how much urine is flowing backward into the ureters and kidneys and helps the provider to determine which type of care is most appropriate. VUR is graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most serious.

How do doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

The diagnosis of VUR is made by reviewing a child’s medical history, urine culture results and imaging results, including a renal ultrasound and a voiding cystourethrogram study (VCUG).