Nephritic Syndrome

Nephritic syndrome is designation for certain symptoms that may accompany diseases of the kidneys. It is important not to confuse this with a similarly sounding term nephrotic syndrome.


The syndrome may occur in various diseases of the kidney tissue, but it especially accompanies the glomerulonephritis (for example the Goodpasture syndrome), i.e. the autoimmune inflammation of basic filtering units of the kidneys.


The syndrome manifests with blood in urine that occurs due to the glomerular damage. In addition, there may be also protein present in the urine but not in such quantity as in nephrotic syndrome. Impaired renal function in nephritic syndrome is reflected in hypertension because healthy kidneys play an irreplaceable role in maintenance of blood pressure. The situation may progress into acute or chronic kidney failure, but that depends on the specific cause of the syndrome.


The most important examination is urinalysis, which can found blood and protein in urine. It is also necessary to check the patient’s blood pressure. Kidney tissue can be examined by ultrasound to rule out any clear macroscopic disease. When thinking about a glomerulonephritis, it is possible to perform a kidney biopsy to obtain a sample of tissue for histological and immunochemical examination.


The therapy and its success rate depend on the cause of the syndrome. For this reason, it is necessary to state the correct diagnosis. When the situation is accompanied by acute kidney failure, it is necessary to treat it no matter the cause including possible initiation of acute dialysis.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources