Glomerulonephritis (GN)



Glomerulonephritis (GN) is the name given to various conditions that develop when the kidney’s glomeruli become inflamed. This inflammation limits their ability to filter and remove excess fluids from the blood and pass them into the urine. Kidney failure can occur if the glomeruli are damaged by this inflammation. GN type is distinguished by onset speed; acute (severe and sudden in onset) or chronic (long-developing). GN can occur independently (as primary GN) or as a feature of another disease (as secondary GN).

Common Symptoms

Pink, brown, or foamy urine, hypertension, and swelling in the face, hands, feet, or abdomen. 

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

In the case of secondary GN, coexisting conditions include autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), systemic lupus erythematosus, diabetes, or polyarteritis nodosa.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

GN can sometimes be traced to hereditary causes, but otherwise, the cause remains unknown. Risk factors include infections (such as post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, bacterial endocarditis, and viral infections), coexisting autoimmune disease (such as lupus, Goodpasture’s syndrome, or IgA nephropathy), vasculitis, polyarteritis, high blood pressure, diabetic kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and certain cancers (like multiple myeloma, lung cancer, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia).


  1. Article Sources
    1. Case-Lo, C. (2018, September 29). Glomerulonephritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. Healthline.,can%20go%20into%20kidney%20failure

    2. Chiu, H. Y., Huang, H. L., Li, C. H., Yin, Y. J., Chen, H. A., Hsu, S. T., Lin, S. J., Tsai, T. F., & Ho, S. Y. (2015). Increased risk of glomerulonephritis and chronic kidney disease in relation to the severity of psoriasis, concomitant medication, and comorbidity: a nationwide population-based cohort study. The British journal of dermatology, 173(1), 146–154.

    3. Rose, N. R., & Mackay, I. R. (2020). The Autoimmune Diseases (6th ed., pp. 562). Academic Press. 

    4. Rull, G. (2018, June 16). Glomerulonephritis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.