Medical Definition of Nephropathy, diabetic

  • 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.

Nephropathy, diabetic: Kidney disease from long-standing diabetes. Diabetes affects the tiny blood vessels in the glomerulus, a key structure in the kidney composed of capillary blood vessels. This structure is critical for blood filtration. Features of diabetic nephropathy include nephrotic syndrome, which is characterized by excessive protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and progressively impaired kidney function. With severe diabetic nephropathy, kidney failure, end-stage renal disease requiring kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant may result. Also known as intercapillary glomerulonephritis, Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease, and Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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