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Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis (RPGN)

What is Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis?

Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis(RPGN) is a kidney disorder that is accompanied by microscopic glomerular crescent formation and loss of renal function over a short span of time (days, weeks or months). In RPGN, damage is caused to the small structures inside the kidneys, known as glomeruli, that help filter waste and fluids from blood to form urine. If RPGN is left untreated, it can lead to acute renal failure resulting in paramount loss of renal function.

What are the causes of Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis?

There are many factors considered responsible for RPGN, namely:

  • Goodpasture syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Abscess of any internal organ
  • Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody disease
  • Vasculitis
  • Polyarteritis IgA nephropathy
  • Membranoproliferative GN
What are the symptoms of Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis?

The most common symptoms of RPGN are:

  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Red blood cells casts in urine
  • Proteinuria (protein in urine)
  • Decreased urine output
  • High blood pressure
  • Edema
How can Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis be treated?

The goal of treatment for RPGN is to treat the underlying cause first. Your doctor may prescribe you corticosteroids to relieve symptoms or medications to supress the immune system. He may also perform plasmapheresis procedure to relieve symptoms in few cases. A close watch is kept on the functioning of kidneys. If required, dialysis or kidney transplantation may be done.