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Acute Interstitial Nephritis
Definition

Acute interstitial nephritis is a kidney disorder. The kidneys are unable to filter waste and fluid properly because of inflammation.

Anatomy of the Kidney

Glomerulonephritis

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Acute interstitial nephritis can be caused by:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of acute interstitial nephritis include:

  • Drug or medication use (adults)
  • Infection (children)
Symptoms

Acute interstitial nephritis may cause:

  • 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
Diagnosis

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

  • Blood Tests
  • Urine tests
  • Kidney ultrasound
  • Kidney biopsy—may be done before certain medications are prescribed for treatment
Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment will depend on the cause. For example, if medications are causing acute interstitial nephritis, your doctor may stop the medication, reduce the dosage, or prescribe a different one.

Treatment options include the following:

Medications

Medications for acute interstitial nephritis may include:

  • Antibiotics for bacterial infection
  • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
Dialysis

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

Prevention

To help reduce your chances of acute interstitial nephritis, your doctor may suggest you avoid certain medications, such as penicillin or NSAIDs.

RESOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
http://www.niddk.nih.gov

National Kidney Foundation
http://www.kidney.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Kidney Foundation of Canada
http://www.kidney.ca

References:

Acute interstitial nephritis. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 9, 2014. Accessed May 8, 2015.

Kodner CM, Kudrimoti A. Diagnosis and management of acute interstitial nephritis. Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(12):2527-2534.

Plakoglannis R, Nogid A. Acute interstitial nephritis associated with coadministration of vancomycin and ceftriaxone: Case series and review of the literature. Pharmacotherapy. 2007:27(10):1456-1461.

Sierra F, Suzrez M, Rey M, Vela MF. Systematic review: Proton pump inhibitor-associated acute interstitial nephritis. Aliment Pharmaco Ther. 2007:26:545-553.



Last reviewed May 2015 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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