OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the existing data regarding the use of cranberry products for the prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in pediatric patients.
DATA SOURCES: A literature search of Medline databases from 1966 to June 2015 was conducted.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: The databases were searched using the terms ""pediatrics,"" ""children,"" ""cranberry,"" ""cranberry juice,"" and ""urinary tract infections."" The identified trials were then searched for additional references applicable to this topic.
DATA SYNTHESIS: A total of 8 clinical trials were identified that examined the use of cranberry products, mostly juice, for the prevention of UTIs in children. Three trials examined the use in otherwise healthy children. Five trials examined the use in pediatric patients with underlying urogenital abnormalities of which 2 compared cranberry to antibiotics. In healthy pediatric patients, cranberry use was associated with a reduction in the overall number of UTIs and a decrease in the number of antibiotic days per year for UTI treatment. In patients with urogenital abnormalities, results were conflicting, with some studies showing no reduction in UTIs compared with placebo, but others demonstrating a significant reduction. However, cranberry products had similar efficacy when compared with both cefaclor and trimethoprim. All studies used a wide variety of doses and frequencies of cranberry, making specific product recommendations difficult.
CONCLUSIONS: Cranberry appears effective for the prevention of UTIs in otherwise healthy children and is at least as effective as antibiotics in children with underlying urogenital abnormalities. However, recommendations for cranberry dosing and frequency cannot be confidently made at this time. Larger, well-designed trials are recommended.