Medical Definition of Acute glomerulonephritis
Acute glomerulonephritis: one of a group of kidney diseases characterized by the abrupt onset of inflammation and proliferation of the glomeruli, microscopic structures within the kidney that are responsible for filtering the blood and producing urine. Acute glomerulonephritis can result in long-term damage or may resolve, depending upon the cause and severity. Acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis is the prototype condition of this group. This condition involves inflammation of the kidney that occurs following an infection with Streptococcus bacteria, such as strep throat. Other conditions that can cause acute glomerulonephritis include systemic lupus erythematosus, Goodpasture's syndrome, Wegener's disease, and polyarteritis nodosa.
Symptoms and signs of acute glomerulonephritis include
- blood in the urine (hematuria),
- protein in the urine (proteinuria),
- urinating less than usual, and
- red blood cell (RBC) casts in the urine.
The condition is often accompanied by hypertension, edema (swelling), and salt and water retention. Treatment is supportive and can sometimes include medications to remove excess fluid or control high blood pressure.
REFERENCE: Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter