Pyelonephritis is an acute infection of the kidney. Fever (> 38°C), chills, flank or lumbar pain, nausea, vomiting, with or without cystitis, are the typical symptoms.
Uncomplicated pyelonephritis is the most common and is defined as pyelonephritis limited to non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women with no known relevant urological abnormalities or comorbidities.
Pyelonephritis in pregnancy, in diabetic patients or when it is accompanied by renal colic (possible obstructing renal stone), are potentially harmful and considered as complicated infection requiring different and more aggressive treatment.
While uncomplicated pyelonephritis can be managed with outpatient treatment, complicated infections need immediate hospitalization and aggressive treatment. In these cases, the progression of the infection may be unpredictable with sepsis and even death.
Pyelonephritis symptoms should never be underestimated and you should seek urgent medical attention.