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When glomeruli go wrong

Educational resources for renal medicine

Licensed under a Creative Commons LicenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

In preparation ...

GN causes: Text slide

  • Glomeruli leak things that should normally remain in the blood, protein and even blood cells
  • High blood pressure is a prominent feature of most but not all types of glomerulonephritis.
  • And you lose filtration capacity, GFR.

It is important because

Glomerulonephritis is important because it is a common cause of end stage renal failure, and because much of it is treatable or preventable.


So taking the things it does one by one ...

Changes in urine (text) -

Sometimes a gross leak gives rise to changes the patient can see -

pic of colours etc

frothy urine can be caused by proteinuria, and sometimes enough blood leaks to be visible. There are other possible causes of these appearances of course.

pic of volumes

Changes in urine volume, which is mostly controlled by tubules, are not very helpful, except that in very aggressive or very late disease, GFR falls low enough for urine volumes to be reduced.


But most of the time, the information comes from urine testing. We'll take the findings one at a time.

Page last modified 04.03.2012, 23:09 by Neil Turner. edrep and edren are produced by the Renal Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Univ. Edinburgh. CAUTIONS and Contact us. Note that the information published here is primarily intended for education, not for clinical care.