Medical Definition of Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease: Diabetic kidney disease affects about one half of patients with long-standing diabetes. It affects the glomerulus, a key structure in the kidney that is composed of capillary vessels necessary for the filtration of the blood. A cardinal feature is the excessive filtration of albumin into the urine (albuminuria). Patients may also have high blood pressure (hypertension). When severe, Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease leads to kidney failure, end-stage renal disease, and the need for chronic kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Diabetic kidney disease affects about one half of patients with long-standing diabetes. Screening for this condition is advised for all patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The disorder is named for Paul Kimmelstein, a pathologist and Clifford Wilson, an English physician. It is also known as Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome or intercapillary glomerulonephritis.

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