Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis: This is a pathological condition of the kidney in which there is production of unusual proteins in the body, which infiltrate the glomerulus affecting normal filtration and it is the function of the glomerulus.
In this article, we will discuss in detail about:
- Causes of Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis.
- Symptoms of Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis.
- Diagnosis of Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis.
- Treatment for Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis.
What Is Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis?
Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis as stated is a medical condition affecting the glomeruli in the kidney. In this condition, the body starts producing increased amounts of unusual proteins which infiltrate the glomeruli. These proteins then get trapped inside the straining layers, thus affecting normal filtration of blood. There are certain instances where these proteins activate the immune system resulting in swelling of these structures. Over a period of time, this swelling starts to damage the layers of filters resulting in spillage of significant amount of protein into the urine. With progressive swelling, these filtering units get damaged significantly and replaced by scar tissues. Therefore, the kidneys start to lose their ability to filter blood resulting in a medical condition called end stage renal disease.
Causes of Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis
Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis has been found in people between the ages of 10 and 90. It is generally found in Caucasians, although it is very difficult to predict as who may get the disease. Studies suggest that Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis is associated with disease conditions that compromise the immune system like lupus. Studies have also suggested association of diseases like hepatitis C with Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis.
Symptoms Of Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis
As stated, Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis first starts to affect the individual filtering unit of the kidney and therefore the symptoms experienced are related to that with blood elements passing into the urine. There will be observation of swelling of the lower extremities. There is presence of abnormal urine which looks foamy in character. This is as a result of loss of protein from the body through the urine. RBCs may also pass through from the urine as well, which can be confirmed by a urinalysis. With the passage of time, as there is significant damage to the filtering units, there will be development of hypertension and anemia. Ultimately, the damage to the filtering units leads to kidney failure the symptoms of which are nausea, lethargy, confusion, appetite loss, itching, shortness of breath, palpitations.
Diagnosis of Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis
Routine laboratory studies may indicate presence of kidney damage. Urinalysis may reveal proteinuria or hematuria. As the disease advances, there will be indications for loss of renal function on routine studies. A confirmatory diagnosis of Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis is made microscopically looking at the kidney tissues, which will reveal presence of proteins in the filtering units confirming the diagnosis.
Treatment For Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis
As of now, there is no effective therapy or treatment specifically designed to treat Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis. There have been some therapies tested in the past with limited success rate. Some of the treatments that have been used are use of medications like steroids and cyclosporine. Plasmapheresis has also been tried in some cases.
- Cleveland Clinic. “Glomerulonephritis.” https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15618-glomerulonephritis
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). “Glomerulonephritis.” https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/glomerular-diseases
- Kidney International Reports. “Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis: A Report of Three Cases Including One with Light Chain Immunoglobulins.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455233/