What is glomerulonephritis?
ξ Injury to small filters in the kidney
ξ It can be come on suddenly (acute)
or slowly (chronic).
ξ It may occur on its own (primary) or
due to systemic disease like lupus,
Why does glomerulonephritis matter?
If not diagnosed and treated, it can lead to
complete and irreversible kidney failure.
ξ Pink/orange/red or coca cola colored
urine – this is due to leakage of
blood into the urine
ξ Foam/frothy urine – this is due to
leakage of protein into the urine
ξ Elevated blood test results for blood
urea nitrogen and creatinine – this is
due to toxins in the blood
ξ Swelling of legs and high blood
pressure – this is due to retaining salt
This condition is often caused by the
immune system attacking your kidneys.
Infection can cause this or it can happen on
its own. Usually the immune system helps
us fight infections, but if the immune system
starts to recognize parts of kidney or body as
foreign, it will cause damage to them.
ξ Examples of infections could include
viral (e.g., HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis
C) or bacterial (e.g., strep throat)
ξ Autoimmune disease: Lupus,
vasculitis (inflammation of blood
ξ Primary glomerulonephritis:
membranous nephropathy, IgA
nephropathy, FSGS (focal segmental
Various tests are required for diagnosis.
These tests can also help to find the cause.
ξ Urine tests look for blood and
ξ Blood tests monitor BUN and serum
creatinine (waste products in body)
ξ Blood tests also look for viral
infections and autoimmune diseases
ξ Kidney biopsy is required to
Treatment usually depends on the cause of
glomerulonephritis. Goals of treatment are
to stop the injury in kidney. This will
prevent scarring in kidney. Blood pressure
medicines like ACE-inhibitors are often
used. These help decrease protein in the
urine. You could also need medicines to
suppress your immune system to prevent
further damage to kidney.
Organizations for More Information
150 S. Warner Road
Suite 402, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Telephone: 1.866 NephCure (637-4287)
National Kidney Foundation
30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
American Kidney Fund, Inc.
6110 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20852
American Association of Kidney Patients
3505 E. Frontage Rd., Suite 315
Tampa, FL 33607-1796
American Autoimmune Related Diseases
22100 Gratiot Avenue Eastpointe
East Detroit, MI 48201-2227
References/Sources of Images
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (2015, November).
Kidney biopsy. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (2014, April).
Glomerular diseases. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-
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