Renal abscess in children is a rare and severe form of infectious kidney disease that is responsible for several serious complications. In this report, we describe a previously healthy 5-year-old girl with a renal abscess caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli), which led to bacteremia and renal scarring.
The patient presented to our department with high fever, headache, vomiting for 2 days and high inflammatory response. We diagnosed her with a urinary tract infection and initiated treatment with ampicillin and cefotaxime. Gram-negative bacilli bacteremia was noted on day 3. On day 4, her fever persisted, and a computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a renal abscess in the left kidney. After identifying the bacteria as ESBL-producing E. coli from the blood culture, we switched to the antibiotic meropenem and continued treatment for 3 weeks. The renal abscess was not drained. Although the renal abscess was successfully treated and it disappeared, a low-density area remained in same lesion on subsequent CT scans and a dimercaptosuccinic acid renal scan performed 4 months after onset revealed renal scarring.
Given the increasing prevalence of ESBL-producing microorganisms, clinicians should be aware of the possibility of renal abscesses caused by community-acquired ESBL-producing organisms even in previously healthy children. Once a renal abscess is suspected, early diagnosis and management are important for reducing the risk of life-threating complications and renal scarring.