We have studied the clinical features and course of adults with reflex nephropathy and/or primary vesicoureteric reflux, paying particular attention to the differences between males and females, and the presenting features that influence prognosis. In our series of 293 patients, females outnumbered males in the ratio 5:1 and most presented with urinary infection, whereas males most commonly presented with features of renal damage such as proteinuria, hypertension or renal failure. Males more commonly had bilateral scarring and persistent reflux.
One hundred and forty-seven patients were followed for two years or more (range 2–19 years); deterioration in renal function occurred in 55 (37 per cent). Risk factors for a rise in plasma creatinine were, in descending order, the presence of proteinuria, an elevated plasma creatinine concentration, bilateral scarring, male sex and the presence of hypertension. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the independent risk factors were proteinuria, elevated plasma creatinine concentration and hypertension; gender and the presence of persistent reflux had no independent influence on the course of renal failure.