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Chronic Kidney Infection


Two of the most common kidney disorders due to infections are glomerulonephritis and bacterial pyelo-nephritis (pyelos means pelvis of the kidney + nephro + itis)


Strep infection is the most common cause of glomerulonephritis. Pyelonephritis can be caused by any of the organisms that cause lower urinary tract infection (e.g., E. coli, klebsiella)


Symptoms and signs of acute glomerulonephritis are often vague and ill-defined. On the other hand, symptoms associated with pyelonephritis are often acute with fever, chills, back ache, and nausea.


Glomerulonephritis is diagnosed through tests of kidney function and an assessment as to whether protein is being passed in the urine.

Pyelonephritis is diagnosed by means of assessment of the clinical history (fever, chills, back pain) and clinical exam (tenderness over the involved kidney). Definitive evidence is obtained by means of culturing the offending organism from the urine.


For glomerulonephritis, treatment consists of antibiotics for any bacterial infection and rest. The treatment may continue for one to two weeks after tests of blood, blood pressure, and the urine indicates that the kidneys are back to normal. Sodium and protein may be restricted.

For pyelonephritis, the most important measures are to eliminate the bacteria with antibiotics given orally or intravenously and to correct any obstruction. When obstruction cannot be eliminated and recurrent infections are common, then long-term antibiotic therapy may be required.


What tests need to be done to diagnose and to determine the cause?

What type of infection is it?

What is the cause of the kidney problem?

How serious is it? What is the prognosis?

What treatment do you recommend?

Will any medications be prescribed? What are the side effects?