Effectiveness of various treatment modalities in children with vesicoureteral reflux grades II-IV: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Chia Lun Chang, Stephen Shei Dei Yang, Chun Kai Hsu, Chun Hua Chen, Shang Jen Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is one of the most common risk factors of urinary tract infection (UTI) among children. Various treatment modalities including antibiotic prophylaxis, surgical or endoscopic corrections and conservative treatment were used depending on the severity of VUR. The aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of these treatment modalities in children with VUR grades II-IV by conducting a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Methods A systematic search from different databases was performed from their earliest records to December 2022 without any language restriction. Only randomised controlled trials were included in this study. Effectiveness of treatment modalities was mainly compared by UTI. Other outcomes for renal scarring and resolution by renal units were also measured between treatments. Results A total of 11 studies with 1447 children were included in this study. While comparing with antibiotic prophylaxis in network meta-analysis for UTI recurrence, surgical treatment probably lowers the rate of UTI recurrence (Log OR -0.26, 95% CI -0.54 to 0.02, high quality). However, endoscopic treatment (Log OR 0.2, 95% CI -1.41 to 1.81, high quality) and conservative treatment (Log OR 0.15, 95% CI -0.45 to 0.75, high quality) revealed probably inferior to antibiotic treatment. Conclusion Both pairwise and network meta-analytic results probably showed no difference between the treatments in terms of their impact on UTI recurrence, progression of previous renal scars, or formation of new renal scars in children with VUR grades II-IV. These findings may offer a better understanding of each treatment and evidence-based suggestions for the choice of treatment, which should be individualised and based on the patient's risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002096
JournalBMJ Paediatrics Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2023


  • Nephrology
  • Statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of various treatment modalities in children with vesicoureteral reflux grades II-IV: A systematic review and network meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this