Posteptococcal glomerulonephritis (GN) is a disorder of the kidneys that occurs after infection with certain strains of Streptococcus bacteria.
Glomerulonephritis - posteptococcal; Post-infectious glomerulonephritis
Posteptococcal 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 beta hemolytic streptococcus bacteria.
The strep bacterial infection causes the tiny blood vessels called glomeruli in the kidneys to become inflamed, making the kidneys less able to filter and control the content of the urine.
Posteptococcal GN 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, posteptococcal glomerulonephritis is a rare complication of these infections.
Risk factors include:
Other symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
There is no specific treatment for posteptococcal 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.
Posteptococcal glomerulonephritis usually goes away by itself after several weeks to months. In a minority of adults, it may progress to chronic kidney failure.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of posteptococcal GN.
If you have experienced posteptococcal GN, call your health care provider if you have decreased urine output or other new symptoms.
Treating known streptococcal infections may prevent posteptococcal GN.
Appel GB. Glomerular disorders and nephrotic syndromes. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 122.