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Anatomy of the Kidney  
Glomerulonephritis

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Definition  

Acute interstitial nephritis is a kidney disorder that happens when the kidneys are unable to filter waste and fluid properly due to inflammation of the kidney.

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Causes  

Acute interstitial nephritis can be caused by:

  • Certain medications
    • Antibiotics
    • Anti-ulcer drugs
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Diuretics
  • Infections such as:
  • Conditions that affect the immune system such as lupus
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Risk Factors  

Risk factors that increase your chance of developing acute interstitial nephritis include:

  • In adults: drug or medication use
  • In children: infection
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Symptoms  

Symptoms include:

  • Decrease in urine output
  • Blood in urine
  • Side or loin pain
  • Swelling of the body
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Aching joints
  • Fever
  • Rash
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Diagnosis  

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:

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Treatment  

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. You treatment will depend on the cause of your acute interstitial nephritis. Treatment options include the following:

Medications  

If medications are the cause of your interstitial nephritis, your doctor may have you stop taking medications or prescribe a different one.

Your doctor may prescribe the following:

  • Antibiotics to treat infection
  • Corticosteroid or cyclophosphamide to treat interstitial nephritis

Usually, a kidney biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis before starting a corticosteroid or cyclophosphamide.

Dialysis  

Some people with interstitial nephritis need dialysis . During dialysis, a machine does the work of your kidneys by removing waste.

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Prevention  

To help reduce your chances of developing acute interstitial nephritis, your doctor may suggest you avoid certain medications such as penicillin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.