Glomerulonephritis occurs when the glomeruli in the kidneys are inflamed. The glomeruli act as a filter to separate wastes and extra fluid from the blood. When they become inflamed, the kidney cannot properly filter the blood, causing hematuria (blood in the urine) and proteinuria (excess levels of protein in the urine). Sometimes, waste products can also build up in the blood. Severe or long-term inflammation of the glomeruli leads to chronic kidney disease.
In addition to hematuria and proteinuria, the symptoms of glomerulonephritis include:
Glomerulonephritis can occur as a direct result of an infection such as:
Certain conditions can also trigger glomerulonephritis, including:
If your child shows symptoms of glomerulonephritis, his or her doctor may use the following tests and exams to make a diagnosis:
Treatment for glomerulonephritis depends on the underlying cause, how severe your child's symptoms are and whether your child has an acute or chronic form of the condition. Treatments may include:
The goal of your child's treatment is to reduce further damage to the kidneys and slow down the progression of kidney failure. With treatment, most children respond to therapy and do quite well.
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