DefinitionGlomerulonephritis is damage to the glomeruli. Glomeruli are the tiny structures within the kidney that filter blood.The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located in the back just below the rib cage. Each kidney is about the size of a fist. The two kidneys filter blood, catch needed substances and return them to the circulation, and dispose of wastes in the urine. If the kidneys don’t filter properly, wastes build up in the blood.There are two types of glomerulonephritis:
- Acute glomerulonephritis begins suddenly.
- Chronic glomerulonephritis develops gradually over several years.
|Anatomy of the Kidney|
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CausesCauses of glomerulonephritis include:
- Strep throat
- Impetigo—skin infection
- Autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- Inflammation of the blood vessels—vasculitis
- Viruses, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
- Inflammation of the tissue lining the heart—endocarditis
- Drugs and toxins
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