Vesicoureteric reflux is found in 1% of children, and is a common cause of urinary infection (20-50%). There is a female preponderance (85%) and a familial tendency (30% incidence in siblings of affected patients, suggesting an autosomal dominant inheritance with variable penetrance). The oblique course of an intravesical, submucosal ureteral segment normally functions as a valve, failure of which (e.g. a short ureteral tunnel) results in reflux. Vesicoureteric reflux is only harmful when complicated by infection. Repeated urinary infection is associated with renal scarring, loss of renal function and eventually hypertension and renal failure.
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