Nephritic syndromes: Pathology review


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Nephritic syndromes: Pathology review


Renal and ureteral disorders

Renal agenesis

Horseshoe kidney

Potter sequence











Renal tubular acidosis

Minimal change disease

Diabetic nephropathy

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (NORD)


Membranous nephropathy

Lupus nephritis

Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis

Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis

Goodpasture syndrome

Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis

IgA nephropathy (NORD)

Lupus nephritis

Alport syndrome

Kidney stones


Acute pyelonephritis

Chronic pyelonephritis

Prerenal azotemia

Renal azotemia

Acute tubular necrosis

Postrenal azotemia

Renal papillary necrosis

Renal cortical necrosis

Chronic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease

Multicystic dysplastic kidney

Medullary cystic kidney disease

Medullary sponge kidney

Renal artery stenosis

Renal cell carcinoma


Nephroblastoma (Wilms tumor)

WAGR syndrome

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome

Bladder and urethral disorders

Posterior urethral valves

Hypospadias and epispadias

Vesicoureteral reflux

Bladder exstrophy

Urinary incontinence

Neurogenic bladder

Lower urinary tract infection

Transitional cell carcinoma

Non-urothelial bladder cancers

Renal system pathology review

Congenital renal disorders: Pathology review

Renal tubular defects: Pathology review

Renal tubular acidosis: Pathology review

Acid-base disturbances: Pathology review

Electrolyte disturbances: Pathology review

Renal failure: Pathology review

Nephrotic syndromes: Pathology review

Nephritic syndromes: Pathology review

Urinary incontinence: Pathology review

Urinary tract infections: Pathology review

Kidney stones: Pathology review

Renal and urinary tract masses: Pathology review


Nephritic syndromes: Pathology review

USMLE® Step 1 questions

0 / 11 complete


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 4-year-old boy is brought to the pediatrician due to a facial rash. The rash started one week ago as a small vesicle and has enlarged. The rash is itchy and painful. Physical examination shows erythematous plaque with a honey-colored crust on the left maxilla. Culture is taken from the lesion and positive for group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes). The child is at increased risk of developing which of the following conditions?  


Content Reviewers

Yifan Xiao, MD


Anca-Elena Stefan, MD

Evan Debevec-McKenney

Salma Ladhani, MD

Kaia Chessen, MScBMC

On the nephrology ward, two people came in with the same symptoms: peripheral and periorbital edema, along with cola-colored urine, arterial hypertension and decreased urine output.

The first person is 10 year old Timmy who had a throat infection two weeks ago.

The second one is 45 year old Dorothy, who also presents with hemoptysis.

Lab tests show that both of them have increased creatinine and BUN.

On urinalysis, there’s hematuria and red blood cell casts in the urine.

A 24-hour protein collection was done and showed that both Timmy and Dorothy had proteinuria, but in both cases it was less than 3.5 grams per day.

Now, both Timmy and Dorothy have nephritic syndrome.

Nephritic syndrome is typically caused by inflammation that damages the glomerular basement membrane, leading to hematuria and red blood cell casts in the urine.

Eventually, this damage can lead to renal failure, where the individual can present with oliguria, arterial hypertension, due to sodium retention, and peripheral and periorbital edema.

Lab tests show high levels of BUN and creatinine and on urinalysis, there’s hematuria, proteinuria and RBC casts in the urine.

A 24-hour protein collection is necessary to quantify how many proteins are lost through urine.

Now, nephritic syndrome can be differentiated from nephrotic syndrome because the proteinuria is generally under 3.5 grams per day, or within the “subnephrotic range”.

In severe cases though, proteinuria can reach over 3.5 grams per day.

In order to determine the cause, a careful history and a kidney biopsy can help diagnose the particular disease.


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  2. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Twentieth Edition (Vol.1 & Vol.2)" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  3. "Practical Renal Pathology, A Diagnostic Approach E-Book" Elsevier Health Sciences (2012)
  4. "Physiology E-Book" Elsevier Health Sciences (2017)
  5. "Rosen's Emergency Medicine" P. Rosen (2018)
  6. "The Renal System" Churchill Livingstone (2010)
  7. "Introduction: Glomerular Disease Update for the Clinician" Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (2016)
  8. "Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome" Pediatric Clinics of North America (2019)
  9. "Goodpasture's disease" The Lancet (2001)

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