To confirm that you have a pyelonephritis, you'll likely be asked to provide a urine sample to test for bacteria, blood or pus in your urine.
Your doctor might also take a blood sample for a culture — a lab test that checks for bacteria or other organisms in your blood.
Other tests might include an ultrasound, CT scan or a type of X-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram. A voiding cystourethrogram involves injecting a contrast dye to take X-rays of the bladder when full and while urinating.
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for pyelonephritis.
Hospitalization for severe pyelonephritis
If your kidney infection is severe, your doctor might admit you to the hospital. Treatment might include antibiotics and fluids that you receive through a vein in your arm (intravenously).
Treatment for recurrent pyelonephritis
An underlying medical problem such as a misshapen urinary tract can cause you to get repeated kidney infections. In that case, you might be referred to a kidney specialist (nephrologist) or urinary surgeon (urologist) for an evaluation.
You might need surgery to repair a structural abnormality.