Encyclopedia Home / G / Glomerulonephritis


  • Alternative Names

    Glomerulonephritis - chronic; Chronic nephritis; Glomerular disease; Necrotizing glomerulonephritis; Glomerulonephritis - crescentic; Crescentic glomerulonephritis; Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis


    Common symptoms of glomerulonephritis are:

    • Blood in the urine (dark, rust-colored, or brown urine)
    • Foamy urine
    • Swelling (edema) of the face, eyes, ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen

    Symptoms that may also appear include the following:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Cough
    • Diarrhea
    • General ill feeling
    • Fever
    • Joint aches
    • Muscle aches
    • Loss of appetite
    • Shortness of breath

    Chronic renal failure symptoms may gradually develop.

    Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:

    • Excessive urination
    • Nosebleed
    • Blood in the vomit or in stools

    Signs and tests

    Because symptoms develop gradually, the disorder may be discovered when there is an abnormal urinalysis during a routine physical or examination for unrelated disorders.

    Glomerulonephritis can cause high blood pressure. It may only be discovered as a cause of high blood pressure that is difficult to control.

    Laboratory tests may reveal anemia or show signs of reduced kidney functioning. A kidney biopsy confirms the diagnosis.

    Later, signs of chronic kidney failure may be seen, including swelling (edema), polyneuropathy, and signs of fluid overload, including abnormal heart and lung sounds.

    Imaging tests that may be done include:

    • Abdominal CT scan
    • Abdominal ultrasound
    • Chest x-ray
    • IVP

    Urinalysis and other urine tests include:

    • Examination of the urine under a microscope
    • Creatinine clearance
    • Total protein
    • Uric acid, urine
    • Urine concentration test
    • Urine creatinine
    • Urine protein
    • Urine RBC
    • Urine specific gravity

    This disease may also affect the results of the following blood tests:

    • Albumin
    • Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody test
    • Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs)
    • BUN and creatinine
    • Complement component 3
    • Complement levels