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Kidney anatomy
Kidney anatomy


Definition:

Post-streptococcal GN is a disorder of the kidneys that occurs after infection with certain strains of Streptococcus bacteria.



Alternative Names:

Glomerulonephritis - post-streptococcal; Post-infectious glomerulonephritis



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Post-streptococcal GN is a form of glomerulonephritis . It is the result of an infection, not of the kidneys, but of a completely different area, such as the skin or throat, with a specific type of Group A hemolytic streptococcus bacteria.

The infection causes the tiny blood vessels called glomeruli in the kidneys to become inflamed, making the kidneys less able to filter and remove wastes.

Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis is uncommon these days because infections that can lead to the disorder are commonly treated with antibiotics. The disorder may develop 1 - 2 weeks after an untreated throat infection, or 3 - 4 weeks after a skin infection.

It may occur in people of any age, but most often occurs in children ages 6 - 10. Although skin and throat infections are not uncommon in children, post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis is a rare complication of these infections.

Risk factors include:



Symptoms:
  • Cough, with sputum
  • Decreased urine output
  • Edema (swelling)
    • Generalized swelling
    • Swelling of the abdomen
    • Swelling of the face or eyes
    • Swelling of the feet, ankles, extremities
  • Smoky urine
  • Rust-colored urine
  • Visible blood in the urine
Other symptoms that may be associated with this disease:

Signs and tests:

Treatment:

There is no specific treatment for post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms.

Antibiotics, such as penicillin, should be used to destroy any streptococcal bacteria that remain in the body. Blood pressure medications and diuretic medications may be needed to control swelling and high blood pressure. Corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory medications are generally not effective.

Dietary salt restriction may be necessary to control swelling and high blood pressure.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis usually goes away by itself after several weeks to months. In a minority of adults, it may progress to chronic kidney failure.



Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of post-streptococcal GN.

If you have experienced post-streptococcal GN, call your health care provider if you have decreased urine output or other new symptoms.



Prevention:

Treating known streptococcal infections may prevent post-streptococcal GN.



References: Brenner BM. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2003.


Review Date: 11/12/2007
Reviewed By: Charles Silberberg, D.O., Private Practice specializing in Nephrology, Affiliated with NY Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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