A single episode of uncomplicated pyelonephritis rarely causes permanent kidney damage in an otherwise healthy adult. However, repeated episodes of pyelonephritis can cause chronic (long-lasting) kidney disease in children, people with diabetes, and adults who have structural abnormalities of the urinary tract, or nerve diseases that disrupt bladder function. Pyelonephritis can become chronic if an infection cannot be cleared easily, as in a person with a kidney stone or other developmental abnormality of the urinary system.
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