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Acute nephritic syndrome

  • Alternative Names

    Glomerulonephritis - acute; Acute glomerulonephritis; Nephritis syndrome - acute


    Common symptoms of nephritic syndrome are:

    • Swelling of the face, eye socket, legs, arms, hands, feet, abdomen, or other areas
    • Blood in the urine (urine appears dark, tea colored, or cloudy)
    • Decreased urine volume (little or no urine may be produced)

    Other symptoms that may occur include:

    • Blurred vision
    • General aches and pains (joint pain, muscle aches)
    • General ill feeling (malaise)
    • Headache
    • Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
    • Cough containing mucus or pink, frothy material
    • Decreased alertness, drowsiness, confusion

    Patients may develop symptoms of acute kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease.

    Signs and tests

    During an examination, your health care provider may find the following signs:

    • High blood pressure
    • Signs of fluid overload (when examining the abdomen)
    • Enlarged liver
    • Abnormal heart and lung sounds
    • Enlarged neck veins from increased pressure
    • General swelling
    • Signs of acute kidney failure

    Tests that may be done include:

    • BUN
    • Creatinine
    • Creatinine clearance
    • Urinalysis
    • Urine appearance and color
    • Potassium test
    • Protein in the urine

    A kidney biopsy will reveal inflammation of the glomeruli, which may indicate the cause.

    Tests to determine the cause of acute nephritic syndrome may include:

    • ANA titer (lupus)
    • ANCA (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody for vasculitis)
    • Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody
    • Blood culture
    • Culture of the throat or skin
    • Serum complement (C3 and C4)