ABC Medical Center > Glomerulonephritis

What is Glomerulonephritis?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


Glomerular nephropathy or glomerulonephritis consists of functional and structural involvement of the glomeruli, which are a set of blood vessels in the kidneys that are responsible for filtering and removing waste substances from the blood.

This condition can be acute when it appears suddenly; or chronic, if it occurs progressively.

There are two types of glomerulonephritis: 

  • Primary: when only the kidney is affected.
  • Secondary: if its origin is due to an underlying disease such as diabetes or lupus.

Signs and symptoms Glomerulonephritis

The symptoms vary depending on the root of the condition and whether it is acute or chronic, but the following symptoms are usually the most characteristic:

  • Hematuria: the presence of blood in the urine, so it has pinkish tones.
  • Proteinuria: excessive protein in the urine, which causes a large amount of foam in it.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Edema: fluid retention that causes swelling in the ankles, feet, hands, abdomen, and face.

The appearance of glomerulonephritis may be due to various conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure. 
  • Diabetes.
  • Strep infections. 
  • Bacterial endocarditis. 
  • Viral infections such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and C.
  • Lupus.

Glomerulonephritis can cause serious permanent damage to the kidneys, leaving them unable to fulfill their filtering function, causing the accumulation of waste, fluid, and electrolytes in the body, causing complications such as kidney failure, nephrotic syndrome, and high blood pressure.

Diagnosis and treatment Glomerulonephritis

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination and request the following tests to assess kidney function:

  • Blood tests to measure the level of creatinine and urea to assess the extent of kidney damage.
  • Urine tests to check the presence of blood, as well as the levels of leukocytes and proteins.
  • Imaging studies such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and computed tomography to observe the kidney and identify their degree of involvement.
  • Kidney biopsy to locate the origin of the inflammatory process and confirm the diagnosis.  

The indicated treatment plan will be established based on the type of glomerulonephritis you suffer from, whether it is acute or chronic, the severity of the symptoms, and, of course, the direct cause.

The therapeutic purpose is to attack the original disease and prevent the progression of kidney damage.

When it comes to acute glomerulonephritis or there is already kidney failure, the available therapy is dialysis, which allows to establish control over blood pressure and eliminate fluid. However, when kidney failure is very advanced, the only option to stop receiving dialysis is a kidney transplant.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • Cardona-Quiceno RA, Restrepo-Perdomo CA, Palacios-Quejada D, et al. Biopsy-proven tubulointerstitial nephritis: A clinicopathological review. Medicina & Laboratorio. 2014;20(05-06):241-252.
  • Calderón-Mendieta FJA, García-de la Puente S, Razo-Paredes NG, et al. Glomerulonefritis antimembrana basal glomerular postrasplante renal en una adolescente con síndrome de Alport. Informe de caso. Acta Pediatr Mex. 2020;41(2):66-71.
  • Monteón-Ramos F, Evangelista-Carrillo LA. Recurrence of glomerular diseases in kidney transplantation. Rev Mex Traspl. 2020;9(Suppl: 1):86-90. doi:10.35366/93492.

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