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Alternative Names Return to topGlomerulonephritis - post-streptococcal; Post-infectious glomerulonephritis
Definition Return to top
Post-streptococcal GN is a disorder of the kidneys that occurs after infection with certain strains of Streptococcus bacteria.
Causes Return to top
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 Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
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.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
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.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
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 Return to top
Treating known streptococcal infections may prevent post-streptococcal GN.
References Return to topBrenner BM. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2003. Update Date: 11/12/2007 Updated 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.