Glomerular diseases affect the glomeruli — the tiny blood vessels that filter blood in your kidneys. When glomeruli are damaged, it disrupts the balance of protein, waste, acids, and other substances in your blood. This can lead to nephrotic syndrome, acute kidney failure (sudden loss of kidney functioning), or chronic kidney failure.
There are two types of glomerular diseases:
- Glomerulonephritis: swelling of the glomeruli tissue
- Glomerulosclerosis: hardening in the blood vessels that causes kidney scarring
In children and adults, these diseases can be caused by kidney disease alone (primary) or result from infections, autoimmune disorders, vasculitis (swelling of blood vessels), and hereditary diseases such as:
- Diabetic nephropathy: chronic kidney disease related to increased blood glucose
- Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: scarring in different parts of the kidney caused by a systemic condition (affects many areas of your body) or progressive kidney disease
- Hereditary nephritis (Alport syndrome): Chronic kidney disease, along with hearing, vision, and skin problems
- HIV-associated nephropathy: fast-developing kidney damage that can lead to chronic kidney failure
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy: silent, progressive kidney disease caused by IgA protein buildup in the glomeruli
- Membranous nephropathy: kidney damage caused by glomeruli thickening
- Minimal change disease: involves nephrotic syndrome without kidney scarring (occurs mainly in childhood)
- Polyarteritis: a form of vasculitis that affects small and medium blood vessels, including vessels in the heart, kidneys, and intestines
- Post-infectious glomerulonephritis: kidney damage that happens after bacterial infection, such as strep throat or impetigo, due to a stimulated immune system (mainly occurs in children)
- Renal limited vasculitis or ANCA glomerulonephritis: damage to the capillaries, resulting in swelling and loss of kidney function
- Systemic lupus erythematosus: an autoimmune disease that can affect kidney function (lupus nephritis)
The signs, symptoms, and complications of glomerular diseases in children and adults vary. Glomerular diseases can cause:
- Proteinuria: a life-threatening protein buildup in the urine
- Hematuria: blood in the urine
- Edema: swelling
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and intestines
The nephrologists (kidney specialists) at University of Miami Health System will treat the underlying causes of acute and chronic glomerular diseases and preserve as much kidney function as possible.
Why Choose UHealth?
Nationally recognized kidney care. Our kidney care program has been ranked among the nation’s best programs by U.S. News & World Report for the past nine years. We use preventive approaches to help avoid kidney injury and disease, along with advanced therapies to improve kidney health and function. We offer some of the most advanced kidney therapies, including continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE).
Comprehensive care in a compassionate, supportive environment. Kidney health impacts vital functions throughout your body. The kidneys can also be impacted by autoimmune or genetic disorders, which can lead to additional complications. That’s why our nephrologists work as part of a team to address the whole person. This group can include general physicians and specialists, nurses, social workers, dietitians, psychologists, and teachers.
World-class care in an academic health system. We’re recognized by the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases as a Center of Excellence and a leader in treating kidney conditions. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide you with superior, personalized care and the latest treatment options.
Highest patient survival rate after transplant. The Kidney Transplant Program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Medical Center have performed more than 250 kidney and combined kidney-pancreas transplants. This expertise earned us recognition by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the largest volume in the nation and the highest transplant success and patient survival after kidney transplant. In addition, our Kidney Paired Donor Exchange Program gives those who need a kidney transplant a better chance of finding a match. With this program, donors that aren’t a medical match for the patient can take part in an exchange program that matches them with another recipient/donor.