Medical Definition of Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome: Diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease). Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome is a kidney condition associated with long-standing diabetes. It affects the network of tiny blood vessels (the microvasculature) in the glomerulus, a key structure in the kidney that is composed of capillary blood vessels and which is critically necessary for the filtration of the blood. Features of Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome include the nephrotic syndrome with excessive filtration of protein into the urine (proteinuria), high blood pressure (hypertension), and progressively impaired kidney function. When severe, Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome leads to kidney failure, end-stage renal disease, and the need for chronic kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant. The disorder is named for Paul Kimmelstein (1900-70), a German-born pathologist in the U.S., and Clifford Wilson (1906-), an English physician. It is also known as Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease or intercapillary glomerulonephritis.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/25/2017

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