Inflammation of the glomerulus, tubule or interstitial tissue of the kidneys is known as nephritis or nephritic syndrome. Glomerulonephritis is medical term used to describe inflammation of the glomeruli, while inflammation of other tissues besides glomeruli is called tubulointerstitial disease. Additionally, doctors differentiate interstitial or tubulo-interstitial nephritis (affects the area of the kidneys between the nephrons). Sometimes, the person may develop kidney disease without inflammation and this is known as nephrotic syndrome or nephrosis.
There are several diseases that may affect the kidneys. First of all, there are nephritis and nephrotic syndromes, already mentioned before, then acute and chronic renal (kidney) failure, renal pain, dysuria and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Both nephritis and nephrosis are problems of the kidneys caused by some kind of kidney disease or injury of these organs. Glomerulonephritis may be presented as nephritis of nephrosis. Acute interstitial nephritis may be caused by hypersensitivity to certain drugs and seen as acute renal failure.
Symptoms and Causes of Acute Nephritis Syndrome
Out of all kidney problems, acute nephritis syndrome is the most serious. Patients suffering from this syndrome usually experience hematuria, proteinuria and reduced output of urine. In many cases, people diagnosed with this syndrome are reported to experience retention of fluid and development of edemas. Commonly seen problems are pedal, periorbital and pulmonary edema.
Symptoms of uremia are also present in these patients, including: nausea, pruritus, anorexia and lethargy. At the same time, patients may also suffer from worsening of the kidney function.
There are several possible causes of this syndrome, including bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, as well as some complications after infections. Typhoid fever, MRSA (methicillin resistant Streptococcus aureus), pneumococcal pneumonia, infective endocarditis and secondary syphilis are commonly seen to lead to acute nephritis. Infections with viruses causing mumps, measles, hepatitis B, infectious mononucleosis, as well as varicella and coxcaskie viruses can also provoke acute nephritis.
After an infection with group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (nephritogenic strain), some children may develop acute nephritis.
Other causes of this kidney problem involve parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis or malaria, anything that can cause glomerulonephritis, primary glomerular diseases, Guillain-Barré syndrome, some multi-systemic diseases or even diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine (DPT vaccine).
Doctors will usually ask about patient’s medical history, looking for uremic symptoms, recent infections or multi-system diseases. They will measure blood pressure, look for edemas on the body and perform urine tests in order to look for proteins and blood.
Patients suspected to suffer from acute nephritis syndrome are usually referred to specialists and they may be hospitalized or managed in different ways, depending on test results and causes of the problem. Prognosis of the condition also depends on the cause of the syndrome, but children suffering from acute nephritis due to post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis usually recover without further problems.