Encyclopedia Home / G / Glomerulonephritis


  • Alternative Names

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


    Treatment varies depending on the cause of the disorder, and the type and severity of symptoms. High blood pressure may be difficult to control, and it is generally the most important aspect of treatment.

    Medicines that may be prescribed include:

    • Blood pressure medications are often needed to control high blood pressure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are most commonly prescribed.
    • Corticosteroids may relieve symptoms in some cases.
    • Medications that suppress the immune system may also be prescribed, depending on the cause of the condition.

    A procedure called plasmapheresis may be used for some cases of glomerulonephritis due to immune-related causes. The fluid part of the blood containing antibodies is removed and replaced with intravenous fluids or donated plasma (without antibodies). Removing antibodies may reduce inflammation in the kidney tissues.

    Dietary restrictions on salt, fluids, protein, and other substances may be recommended.

    Persons with this condition should be closely watched for signs that they are developing kidney failure. Dialysis or a kidney transplant may eventually be necessary.

    Support Groups

    You can often ease the stress of illness by joining support groups where members share common experiences and problems.

    See: Kidney disease - support group

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Glomerulonephritis may be a temporary and reversible condition, or it may get worse. Progressive glomerulonephritis may lead to chronic kidney failure and end-stage kidney disease.

    If you have nephrotic syndrome and it can be controlled, other symptoms may also be controlled. If it can't be controlled, end-stage kidney disease may result.

    • Nephrotic syndrome
    • Acute nephritic syndrome
    • Chronic kidney failure
    • End-stage kidney disease
    • Hypertension
    • Malignant hypertension
    • Fluid overload -- congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema
    • Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection
    • Increased susceptibility to other infections
    • Hyperkalemia

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if:

    • You have disorders that are associated with an increased risk of glomerulonephritis
    • You develop symptoms of glomerulonephritis