Glomerulonephritis (gluh-MARE-you-low-ne-FRY-tis) is an inflammation of the glomeruli, the parts of the filtering units (nephrons) of the kidney that contain a network of capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
Kidneys filter the blood. The main functional units of the kidney, where the filtering takes place, are called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons, and each nephron has one glomerulus (singular of glomeruli).
Glomerulonephritis damages the glomeruli, causing symptoms such as blood in the urine, foamy urine, and swelling (edema) around the face, eyes, ankles, legs, and abdomen.
Some cases of glomerulonephritis get better on their own. Others respond well to treatment, and most of the time, any damage done to the kidneys heals completely. Only in rare cases does glomerulonephritis cause long-term kidney problems.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.|
|National Kidney Foundation (NKF) NKF seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.|
|Nephron Information Center The Nephron Information Center offers information about how the kidneys work, transplants, and links to other sites.|
|American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) The AAKP serves kidney patients and their families by helping them cope with the emotional, physical, and social impact of kidney failure.|
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|Kidneys and Urinary Tract The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine.|
|Glomerulonephritis With glomerulonephritis, tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly, causing problems like too much fluid in the body and swelling. Most of the time it can be treated. Find out more.|
|Blood in the Urine (Hematuria) Hematuria is pretty common, and most of the time it's not serious. Find out what causes blood in the urine and what to do about it.|
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