Interstitial nephritis can cause mild to severe kidney problems, including acute kidney failure. In about half of cases, people will have decreased urine output and other signs of acute kidney failure.

Symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever
  • Increased or decreased urine output
  • Mental status changes (drowsiness, confusion, coma)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the body, any area
  • Weight gain (from retaining fluid)
Tests to diagnose: 

Various tests will be needed to confirm or rule out acute nephritis:

  • Throat swabs to see if the streptococcus bacteria is present.
  • Urine tests to see if blood and/or protein is present in the urine.
  • Blood tests to check kidney function (creatinine), and to show whether waste products are being removed from the blood efficiently. Some blood tests are also taken to try to find the cause of the acute nephritis.
  • A kidney biopsy may be necessary if there are signs that the kidneys are getting worse, so that we can decide if we need to give any treatment to reduce the inflammation in the kidneys.

Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Avoiding medications that lead to this condition may relieve symptoms quickly. Corticosteroids or stronger anti-inflammatory medications such as cyclophosphamide can sometimes be helpful.


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