The  upper urinary tract consists of the kidneys and ureters. Infection in  the upper urinary tract generally affects the kidneys (pyelonephritis),  which can cause fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and other severe  symptoms. It can be caused by an infection that has made its way up the  urinary tract and can become a complicated infection from an  obstruction, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy, and calculi.
Similarities and Differences
Although  the location of the infection is different many of the signs and  symptoms can present the same; fever, dysuria, frequency, or urgency may  be present in both. Many lower tract UTIs may be asymptomatic, and in upper tract UTIs, the symptoms may be more severe, including nausea and vomiting, flank pain, or costovertebral angle  tenderness. Finding the underlying cause and treatment is the same;  antibiotics for bacterial infections and analgesics for pain control.  Intravenous antibiotics are preferred for upper tract UTIs in an attempt to preserve organ damage, but mat be converted to oral after initial treatment.

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