Clinical presentation & management of glomerular diseases: hematuria, nephritic & nephrotic syndrome

Mo Med. 2011 Jan-Feb;108(1):33-6.


Because the differential diagnosis for glomerulonephritis (GN) is broad, using a classification schema is helpful to narrow the causes of GN in a systematic manner. The etiology of glomerulonephritis can be classified by their clinical presentation (nephrotic, nephritic, rapidly progressive GN, chronic GN) or by histopathology. GN may be restricted to the kidney (primary glomerulonephritis) or be a secondary to a systemic disease (secondary glomerulonephritis). The nephrotic syndrome is defined by the presence of heavy proteinuria (protein excretion greater than 3.0 g/24 hours), hypoalbuminemia (less than 3.0 g/dL), and peripheral edema. Hyperlipidemia and thrombotic disease may be present. The nephritic syndrome is associated with hematuria and proteinuria and abnormal kidney function and carries poorer prognosis and is typically associated with hypertension. The predominant cause of the nephrotic syndrome in children is minimal change disease. The most common causes of nephritic syndrome are post infectious GN, IgA nephropathy and lupus nephritis. Chronic GN is slowly progressive and is associated with hypertension and gradual loss of kidney function. Treatment includes non-specific measure aimed at controlling hypertension, edema, proteinuria and disease modifying immunosuppression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glomerulonephritis / classification
  • Glomerulonephritis / diagnosis
  • Glomerulonephritis / therapy
  • Hematuria / classification
  • Hematuria / diagnosis
  • Hematuria / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / classification
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy*
  • Nephrology / methods*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / classification
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / therapy*