Tubulointerstitial changes as a major determinant in the progression of renal damage

Am J Kidney Dis. 1992 Jul;20(1):1-17. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(12)80312-x.


Tubulointerstitial injury is an invariant finding in the chronically diseased kidney, irrespective of the type of disease or the compartment in which the disease originates. Such histologic changes are functionally significant in that scores for such damage, rather than glomerular injury, correlate with decline of renal function. This review summarizes (1) clinical evidence attesting to tubulointerstitial changes as an index of functional impairment, (2) mechanisms by which tubulointerstitial injury impairs renal function, and (3) interactions of pathologic processes in the vascular, glomerular, tubular, and interstitial compartments that culminate in tubulointerstitial injury. This report concludes with a review of interstitial fibrosis, a pathologic process regarded as an irreversible outcome from tubulointerstitial injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology*
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / pathology*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / physiopathology