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Urinary Tract InfectionsUrinary tract infections (UTI) can occur anywhere in the genitourinary tract leading to urethritis, cystitis, and pyelonephritis. Most infections enter the urethra and ascend; however, infectious agents can spread through the bloodstream from other organs like the kidneys.Pathophysiology of Upper Urinary Tract InfectionsPyelonephritis, infection of the kidney, is considered to be an upper UTI. Most cases of pyelonephritis are caused by bacteria. Non-bacterial causes include fungi, mycobacteria, viruses,and parasites. Infection of the ureters or kidney is most often due to bacterial moving up into thegenitourinary tract; however, it is possible for the infection to be caused via bloodstream. Common causes of urinary obstruction and reflux resulting in pyelonephritis include: kidney stones, vesicoureteral reflux, pregnancy, neurogenic bladder, instrumentation, and female sexual trauma (Huether & McCance, 2012).