A to Z: Glomerulonephritis

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A to Z: Glomerulonephritis

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).

More to Know

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.

Keep in Mind

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.



Related Resources

OrganizationNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.
OrganizationNational 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.
Web SiteNephron Information Center The Nephron Information Center offers information about how the kidneys work, transplants, and links to other sites.
OrganizationAmerican 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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A to Z: Hematuria (Blood in Urine) Learn more about hematuria (blood in urine) and how it's treated.
When Your Child Has a Chronic Kidney Disease Parents of kids who have a chronic kidney disease often worry about what might happen next, how their child feels, and what treatments are likely to be involved. Find answers here.
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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