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The fellowship-trained, board-certified pediatric nephrologists with Norton Children’s Nephrology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the training and experience to treat children experiencing glomerulonephritis. Our kidney specialists can work with you and your child to improve symptoms and limit damage to the kidneys.

What Is Glomerulonephritis?

Glomerulonephritis is a kidney condition in which the glomeruli become inflamed. The glomeruli are structures that supply blood to the nephrons, the part of the kidney that filters urine. When nephrons do not receive the needed blood flow from the glomeruli, the kidneys have difficulty filtering urine.

Glomerulonephritis can be caused by varying conditions, including:

  • Alport syndrome: A form of inherited glomerulonephritis (passed down from parent to child).
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura: A disorder that causes the small blood vessels in skin, joints, intestines and kidneys to be inflamed and bleed. The condition causes a purplish rash on the lower legs and buttocks.
  • Systemic immune disease, such as lupus.
  • Polyarteritis nodosa: An inflammatory disease in the arteries.
  • Streptococcal infection, such as strep throat or upper respiratory infection.

Glomerulonephritis Symptoms

Each child can experience symptoms differently. The most common symptoms of glomerulonephritis include:

  • Dark brown urine (blood, protein in urine)
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid in the tissues (edema)
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Labored breathing
  • Rash appearing on the buttocks and legs
  • Reduced urine
  • Seizures (may happen due to high blood pressure)
  • Skin appears pale
  • Sore throat
  • Weight loss

Glomerulonephritis Treatment

Treatment for glomerulonephritis will depend on a child’s age, overall health and family health history, as well as the extent of the condition and its cause. If the child’s condition is considered to be acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN ––glomerulonephritis caused by a strep infection), treatment will be focused on curing the strep infection. Other treatments may include:

  • Restricted fluids
  • Diet modifications, including decreasing salt, protein or potassium consumption
  • Medicines such as:
    • Blood pressure medications
    • Diuretics
    • Immunosuppressive agent medications
    • Phosphate binder to lower phosphorus levels in the blood
  • Dialysis

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