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Home >> Specialities >> Kidney Transplant >> Glomerulonephritis


With a global incidence of 1.3 per 100,000 people/year, glomerulonephritis accounts for nearly 25 per cent of all end-stage kidney diseases. It is an autoimmune disease marked by severe damage to the glomeruli, i.e. the cleaning units of the kidney. Glomerulonephritis can be the result of an underlying disease or ailment and carries potential risks, such as irreversible kidney damage.

What are the different types of Glomerulonephritis?
Glomerulonephritis is broadly classified into two types based on the onset and progression of the symptoms. These are:

  • Acute Glomerulonephritis - The damage is sudden and abrupt, usually developed after an infection. In some cases, the patients get better on their own, whereas in others, immediate medical intervention is required. 
  • Chronic Glomerulonephritis - The damage develops gradually and silently for years, eventually leading to the partial or complete loss of renal function. It is most commonly seen in young males and happens to be autoimmune. 

What causes Glomerulonephritis?
There are a number of different conditions that can cause glomerulonephritis by leading to the inflammation of the glomeruli. These include:

  • Infections that directly or indirectly affect the glomeruli, such as post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, bacterial endocarditis, hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV
  • Certain autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and  IgA nephropathy
  • Vasculitis or inflammation of the blood vessels
  • Sclerotic conditions like hypertension and diabetic nephropathy

What are the symptoms of Glomerulonephritis?
The patients may experience different symptoms depending upon the type of Glomerulonephritis, i.e. whether it is acute or chronic. Common symptoms that might be an indication of glomerulonephritis include:

  • Hematuria, which is marked by the presence of blood in the urine.
  • Proteinuria, which is marked by foamy urine due to the presence of excessive protein 
  • Hypertension, which refers to high blood pressure
  • Edema, which is marked by fluid accumulation in the limbs
  • Decreased urine output 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Increased muscle cramps 

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