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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Primary Glomerulonephritis
      Category : Health Centers > Urinary System & Kidneys

Primary Glomerulonephritis

Alternate Names : GN

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Primary glomerulonephritis, or GN, involves damage to the glomeruli in the kidneys. Glomeruli are the filtering structures of the kidneys. When glomeruli are damaged, protein and blood cells may leak into the urine.

What is going on in the body?

Primary GN stems from damage to the glomeruli. Most often this is the result of inflammation of the tissue. The injury can be mild with few symptoms. It can also be severe and life threatening.

Six major syndromes are associated with primary GN, including:

  • acute glomerulonephritis, which may develop suddenly after a throat, skin, or upper respiratory infection
  • blood in the urine, called hematuria
  • chronic glomerulonephritis, which develops slowly
  • nephrotic syndrome, which causes a set of symptoms including bodywide swelling
  • protein in the urine, called proteinuria
  • rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, which often follows a kidney inflammation and causes rapid loss of kidney function
  • What are the causes and risks of the disease?

    Several factors can contribute to the risk for primary GN. These include the following:

  • autoimmune disorders, such as a condition called systemic lupus erythematosus
  • certain cancers
  • chronic hepatitis, an infection of the liver
  • genetic tendencies
  • infections, such as a heart infection known as endocarditis
  • rheumatic fever, an immune response that may follow a group A streptococcal infection such as strep throat


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    Primary Glomerulonephritis: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Crystal R. Martin, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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