Tag Archives: IgA nephropathy

Henoch-Schonlein purpura

Definition:
There are many health problems that arise from the fact that the body’s immune system can turn on itself itself and attack its own tissues. These are called autoimmune reactions, and they can happen without warning. Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is one such reaction.

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In HSP, the immune system is triggered to produce a type of antibody known as IgA which targets and attacks the blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to become inflamed, a condition called vasculitis.

Although Henoch-Schonlein purpura can affect anyone, it’s most common in children and young adults. Henoch-Schonlein purpura usually improves on its own, but if the kidneys are affected, medical care is generally needed, as well as long-term follow-up to prevent more-serious problems.

Symptoms:
HSP often affects various parts of the body. Most patients are mildly unwell, with a low grade fever. A triad of more specific symptoms usually occurs:

•a characteristic symmetrical skin rash on the lower extremities
•abdominal pain or kidney problems
•arthritis
The characteristic rash of HSP appears as purple spots on the skin, known as purpura which may rapidly merge together to look like bruises. These are usually found over the lower extremities – in particular, the buttocks and lower legs. However, the rash can also appear on the face, trunk and upper extremities – especially the outer side of the arms. It tends to be more prominent in areas where pressure on the skin occurs, from socks or waistbands for example.

When the joints are affected, they may become red, swollen and tender. This is most common in the ankles and knees, but the feet, hands and elbows may also be involved. Fortunately, this is only temporary and permanent deformity doesn’t occur.

Cramping abdominal pain, sometimes with diarrhoea and vomiting, and the passing of blood raises the alarm that the gut has become involved. In up to three percent of cases the bowel may become blocked by a condition called intussusception. Traces of blood or protein found in the urine indicates the kidneys are inflamed (called glomerulonephritis) – this affects up to 50 per cent of older children.

Causes:
In Henoch-Schonlein purpura, some of the body’s small blood vessels become inflamed, which can cause bleeding in the skin, joints, abdomen and kidneys. Why this initial inflammation develops isn’t clear, although it may be the result of an overzealous immune system responding inappropriately to certain triggers.The exact cause for this disorder is unknown.

Some of these triggers may include:

*Viral and bacterial infections, such as strep throat and parvovirus infection — nearly half the children with Henoch-Schonlein purpura develop the disease after an upper respiratory infection

*Certain medicines, including some types of antibiotics and antihistamines

*Insect bites

*Some vaccinations, including those for measles, typhoid, yellow fever and cholera

*Cold weather

*Certain chemicals

* Food allergens.

It’s thought that HSP may be triggered by a viral infection, as up to two-thirds of children will have had a respiratory tract infection (a cough or cold) one to three weeks before HSP appears.

Risk Factors:
*Age. The disease affects primarily children and young adults, with the majority of cases occurring in children between 4 and 6 years of age.

*Sex. Henoch-Schonlein purpura is slightly more common in boys than girls

*Race. White and Asian children are more likely to develop Henoch-Schonlein purpura than black children are.It’s between one and a half and two times more likey to affect boys than girls.

*Illness. Having an upper respiratory infection or other bacterial or viral illness increases a child’s risk.

*Season. Henoch-Schonlein purpura strikes mainly in autumn, winter and spring, and rarely in summer.Every year in the UK about one person in every 5,000 develops HSP

Complications:-
For most people, symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein purpura improve in a few weeks, leaving no lasting problems. Recurrences are fairly common, however. Children who have severe symptoms appear more likely to have a recurrence, but repeat bouts are usually milder than the initial episode.

Kidney damage
The most serious complication of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is kidney damage, which can cause blood in the urine, swelling and high blood pressure. Most children with kidney problems recover fully, but in a very small percentage of cases, Henoch-Schonlein purpura leads to end-stage kidney disease. In that case, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed. Adults are at greater risk than children of developing end-stage kidney disease.

The long-term outcome for people with Henoch-Schonlein purpura appears to depend on whether they develop kidney problems and how severe those problems are.

Bowel obstruction
In rare cases, Henoch-Schonlein purpura can cause a kind of bowel obstruction (intussusception) that reduces blood flow to the intestinal tract and leads to inflammation of other organs, including the pancreas.

Future pregnancies
Women who’ve had Henoch-Schonlein purpura during childhood may be at increased risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and have a history of Henoch-Schonlein purpura, be sure to tell your doctor about it so that you can be monitored appropriately.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis is based on the combination of the symptoms, as very few other diseases cause the same symptoms together. Blood tests may show elevated creatinine and urea levels (in kidney involvement), raised IgA levels (in about 50%), and raised CRP or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) results; none are specific for Henoch–Schönlein purpura. The platelet count may be raised, and distinguishes it from diseases where low platelets are the cause of the purpura, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

If there is doubt about the cause of the skin lesions, a biopsy of the skin may be performed to distinguish the purpura from other diseases that cause it, such as vasculitis due to cryoglobulinemia; on microscopy the appearances are of a hypersensitivity vasculitis, and immunofluorescence demonstrates IgA and C3 (a protein of the complement system) in the blood vessel wall.[2] However, overall serum complement levels are normal.

On the basis of symptoms, it is possible to distinguish HSP from hypersensitivity vasculitis (HV). In a series comparing 85 HSP patients with 93 HV patients, five symptoms were found to be indicative of HSP: palpable purpura, abdominal angina, digestive tract hemorrhage (not due to intussussception), hematuria and age less than 20. The presence of three or more of these indicators has an 87% sensitivity for predicting HSP.

Biopsy of the kidney may be performed both to establish the diagnosis or to assess the severity of already suspected kidney disease. The main findings on kidney biopsy are increased cells and Ig deposition in the mesangium (part of the glomerulus, where blood is filtered), white blood cells, and the development of crescents. The changes are indistinguishable from those observed in IgA nephropathy.

Microphotograph of a histological section of human skin prepared for direct immunofluorescence using an anti-IgA antibody, the skin is a biopsy of a patient with Henoch-Schönlein purpura. IgA deposits are found in the walls of small superficial capillaries (yellow arrows). The pale wavy green area on top is the epidermis, the bottom fibrous area is the dermis.HSP can develop after infections with streptococci (?-haemolytic, Lancefield group A), hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus, parvovirus B19, Coxsackievirus, adenovirus, Helicobacter pylori,[5] measles, mumps, rubella, Mycoplasma and numerous others.  Drugs linked to HSP, usually as an idiosyncratic reaction, include the antibiotics vancomycin and cefuroxime, ACE inhibitors enalapril and captopril, anti-inflammatory agent diclofenac, as well as ranitidine and streptokinase. Several diseases have been reported to be associated with HSP, often without a causative link. Only in about 35% of cases can HSP be traced to any of these causes.

The exact cause of HSP is unknown, but most of its features are due to the deposition of abnormal antibodies in the wall of blood vessels, leading to vasculitis. These antibodies are of the subclass IgA1 in polymers; it is uncertain whether the main cause is overproduction (in the digestive tract or the bone marrow) or decreased removal of abnormal IgA from the circulation. It is suspected that abnormalities in the IgA1 molecule may provide an explanation for its abnormal behaviour in both HSP and the related condition IgA nephropathy. One of the characteristics of IgA1 (and IgD) is the presence of an 18 amino acid-long “hinge region” between complement-fixating regions 1 and 2. Of the amino acids, half is proline, while the others are mainly serine and threonine. The majority of the serines and the threonines have elaborate sugar chains, connected through oxygen atoms (O-glycosylation). This process is thought to stabilise the IgA molecule and make it less prone to proteolysis. The first sugar is always N-acetyl-galactosamine (GalNAc), followed by other galactoses and sialic acid. In HSP and IgAN, these sugar chains appear to be deficient. The exact reason for these abnormalities is not known

Treatment:
The condition usually settles down within six weeks, although it can go on for several months. It can recur, sometimes more than once, in as many as one in three people. There is no treatment which has been shown to shorten the duration of the disease or reduce the risk of complications, so no specific treatment is required. However, treatment can be used to relieve the symptoms. Paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) may be prescribed to relieve any joint pain. If symptoms persist, corticosteroid therapy may be recommended.

The most serious possible consequence of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is kidney damage. Up to five percent of cases develop progressive kidney disease and ultimately kidney failure (this is more likely in older children and adults). For this reason, regular urine tests to monitor kidney function are important, even once someone has recovered from the acute illness.

Prognosis:
Overall prognosis is good in most patients, with one study showing recovery occurring in 94% and 89% of children and adults, respectively (some having needed treatment).

In children under ten, the condition recurs in about a third of all cases and usually within the first four months after the initial attack.Recurrence is more common in older children and adults.

In general, however, the majority of people who develop HSP make a full recovery without any further problems.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/henoch-schonlein-purpura/DS00838
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henoch%E2%80%93Sch%C3%B6nlein_purpura
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/henochschonleinpurpura1.shtml

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/19831.htm

Glomerulonephritis

Alternative Names: Glomerulonephritis – chronic; Chronic nephritis; Glomerular disease; Necrotizing glomerulonephritis; Glomerulonephritis – crescentic; Crescentic glomerulonephritis; Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis

Definition:
Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease in which the part of your kidneys that helps filter waste and fluids from the blood is damaged.

It is an inflammation of the tiny filters in your kidneys (glomeruli). Glomeruli remove excess fluid, electrolytes and waste from your bloodstream and pass them into your urine.


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The inflammation can be caused by many different conditions. but is usually due to an overactivity of the immune system.

Glomerulonephritis can be acute — a sudden attack of inflammation — or chronic — coming on gradually.

If glomerulonephritis occurs on its own, it’s known as primary glomerulonephritis. If another disease, such as lupus or diabetes, is the cause, it’s called secondary glomerulonephritis. If severe or prolonged, the inflammation associated with glomerulonephritis can damage your kidneys. Treatment depends on the type of glomerulonephritis you have.

Symptoms:
There are seven different types of glomerulonephritis, that present in very different ways. For some types, symptoms can include ankle swelling that develops over months or years. For others, shortness-of-breath over days or weeks (due to water in the lungs) causing a rapid onset of kidney failure.

The outlook is also variable, from complete recovery with no treatment, to end-stage renal failure (ESRF), requiring dialysis and/or a transplant. Some types of glomerulonephritis can return in a transplant.

The various symptoms of the different types also include:
*Swelling of the face, eyes and legs
*Reduction in urine volume
*Dark urine (containing blood which may not be visible)
*Headaches and visual disturbances
*Drowsiness
*Tiredness and general malaise (feeling ill)
*Nausea
*Loss of appetite
*Rashes and itchy skin
*Pink or cola-colored urine from red blood cells in your urine (hematuria)
*Foamy urine due to excess protein (proteinuria)
*High blood pressure (hypertension)
*Fluid retention (edema) with swelling evident in your face, hands, feet and abdomen
*Fatigue from anemia or kidney failure

Tests for the condition show protein, blood cells, and kidney cells in the urine, while a high concentration of the body’s waste products (such as urea and creatinine) may be found in the blood.

Swabs of the throat may show there’s been a streptococcal infection, while blood tests may be used to check for antibodies to streptococci or other infections, or signs of an abnormal immune response.

All patients will need a kidney biopsy (removal of a piece of kidney with a needle) to make a definite diagnosis.

Sometimes when there are no symptoms, the problem is picked up by a routine blood test, or during investigation of high blood pressure

Causes:
Primary causes are ones which are intrinsic to the kidney, whilst secondary causes are associated with certain infections (bacterial, viral or parasitic pathogens), drugs, systemic disorders (SLE, vasculitis) or diabetes.

Glomerulonephritis may be caused by specific problems with the body’s immune system. Often, the precise cause of glomerulonephritis is unknown.

Damage to the glomeruli causes blood and protein to be lost in the urine.

The condition may develop quickly, with loss of kidney function occurring over weeks and months (called rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis).

In about a quarter of people with chronic glomerulonephritis there is no history of kidney disease and the disorder first appears as chronic renal failure.

Risk Factors:
The following increase your risk of developing this condition:
•History of cancer
•Blood or lymphatic system disorders
•Exposure to hydrocarbon solvents
•Infections such as strep infections, viruses, heart infections,or abscesses
•Diabetes
Many conditions are known to cause or increase the risk for glomerulonephritis, including:
•Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
•Goodpasture syndrome
•Membranoproliferative GN
•IgA nephropathy
•Lupus nephritis or Henoch-Schonlein purpura
•Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody disease
•Blood vessel diseases such as vasculitis or polyarteritis
•Amyloidosis

In most cases, no cause is found. Though in a few patients, they may be ‘set off’ by an infection or a cancer. Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis is now extremely rare

There is also a very serious type called ’rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis’ (RPGN), which can follow a flu-like illness in the month before symptoms start in 50 per cent of patients. This can cause kidney failure in days or weeks and can be linked to bleeding from the lungs, causing blood to be coughed up.

Diagnosis:
Specific signs and symptoms may suggest glomerulonephritis, but the condition often comes to light when a routine urinalysis is abnormal. Because symptoms develop gradually, the disorder may be discovered when there is an abnormal urinalysis during a routine physical or examination for unrelated disorders.

Glomerulonephritis can cause high blood pressure. It may only be discovered as a cause of high blood pressure that is difficult to control.

Laboratory tests may reveal anemia or show signs of reduced kidney functioning. A kidney biopsy confirms the diagnosis.

Later, signs of chronic kidney failure may be seen, including swelling (edema), polyneuropathy, and signs of fluid overload, including abnormal heart and lung sounds.

Imaging tests that may be done include:
•Abdominal CT scan
•Abdominal ultrasound
•Chest x-ray
•IVP

Urinalysis and other urine tests include:
•Examination of the urine under a microscope
•Creatinine clearance
•Total protein
•Uric acid, urine
•Urine concentration test
•Urine creatinine
•Urine protein
•Urine RBC
•Urine specific gravity

This disease may also affect the results of the following blood tests:
•Albumin
•Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody test
•Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs)
•BUN and creatinine
•Complement component 3
•Complement levels

Treatment:
Treatment varies depending on the cause of the disorder, and the type and severity of symptoms. High blood pressure may be difficult to control, and it is generally the most important aspect of treatment.

Medicines that may be prescribed include:
•Blood pressure medications are often needed to control high blood pressure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are most commonly prescribed.
•Corticosteroids may relieve symptoms in some cases.
•Medications that suppress the immune system may also be prescribed, depending on the cause of the condition.

A procedure called plasmapheresis may be used for some cases of glomerulonephritis due to immune-related causes. The fluid part of the blood containing antibodies is removed and replaced with intravenous fluids or donated plasma (without antibodies). Removing antibodies may reduce inflammation in the kidney tissues.

Dietary restrictions on salt, fluids, protein, and other substances may be recommended.

Persons with this condition should be closely watched for signs that they are developing kidney failure. Dialysis or a kidney transplant may eventually be necessary.

Lifestyle and home remedies:-
Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, including:

*Restricting salt intake to prevent or minimize fluid retention, swelling and hypertension

*Cutting back on protein and potassium consumption to slow the buildup of wastes in your blood

*Maintaining a healthy weight

*Controlling your blood sugar level if you have diabetes

Possible Complications:
•Nephrotic syndrome
•Acute nephritic syndrome
•Chronic kidney failure
•End-stage kidney disease
•Hypertension
•Malignant hypertension
•Fluid overload — congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema
•Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection
•Increased susceptibility to other infections
•Hyperkalemia

Prognosis:
Glomerulonephritis may be a temporary and reversible condition, or it may get worse. Progressive glomerulonephritis may lead to chronic kidney failure and end-stage kidney disease.

If you have nephrotic syndrome and it can be controlled, other symptoms may also be controlled. If it can’t be controlled, end-stage kidney disease may result.

Prevention:
There is no specific way to prevent most cases of glomerulonephritis. Some cases may be prevented by avoiding or limiting exposure to organic solvents, mercury, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/kidneys/glomerulonephritis1.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000484.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/glomerulonephritis/DS00503
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glomerulonephritis

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_glomerulonephritis.html

http://www.butler.org/body.cfm?id=125&chunkiid=96731

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Urinalysis

Definition :
Urinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine.

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It is a routine examination of the urine for cells, tiny structures, bacteria, and chemicals that suggest various illnesses. A urine culture attempts to grow large numbers of bacteria from a urine sample to diagnose a bacterial urine infection.


How the Test is Performed

A urine sample is needed. Your health care provider will tell you what type of urine sample is needed. For information on how to collect a urine sample, see:

*24-hour urine collection
*Clean catch urine specimen

There are three basic steps to a complete urinalysis:

1. Physical color and appearance:

*What does the urine look like to the naked eye?
*Is it clear or cloudy?
*Is it pale or dark yellow or another color?

The urine specific gravity test reveals how concentrated or dilute the urine is.

2.Microscopic appearance:

The urine sample is examined under a microscope. This is done to look at cells, urine crystals, mucus, and other substances, and to identify any bacteria or other microorganisms that might be present.

3,Chemical appearance:

A special stick (“dipstick”) tests for various substances in the urine. The stick contains little pads of chemicals that change color when they come in contact with the substances of interest.

Click to See : Urine chemistry

How to Prepare for the Test:
For a regular urinalysis, you are asked to urinate briefly into a plastic cup. When urine is collected for a urine culture, you must provide a “clean catch” sample – one that is not contaminated by skin cells and skin bacteria. This is so the doctor can obtain a sample of urine from inside your bladder, where normally there should be no bacteria. In contrast, there are many bacteria on the skin of a penis or in a vagina. The trick (harder for a woman than a man) is to pee directly into a sterile container without having the stream of urine first touch your skin or the nonsterile tissues of the vagina.

To collect a clean catch sample, you are given a sterile plastic container and asked to wipe off the area around your urethra (where urine exits) with an antiseptic cloth. For women, it’s also helpful to hold the two labia (outer walls) of the vagina apart with one hand when you urinate, so that the stream of urine passes directly into the sterile container. Since the first flow of urine is most likely to be contaminated by bacteria from around the opening of the urethra, first urinate for a moment into the toilet and then use the cup to collect the “middle” portion of your urine stream.

Certain medicines change the color of urine, but this is not a sign of disease. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking any medicines that can affect test results.

Medicines that can change your urine color include:

*Chloroquine
*Iron supplements
*Levodopa
*Nitrofurantoin
*Phenazopyridine
*Phenothiazines
*Phenytoin
*Riboflavin
*Triamterene

Why the Test is Performed :-

A urinalysis may be done:

As part of a routine medical exam to screen for early signs of disease
If you have signs of diabetes or kidney disease, or to monitor you if you are being treated for these conditions
To check for blood in the urine
To diagnose a urinary tract infection
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:

*Acute bilateral obstructive uropathy
*Acute nephritic syndrome
*Acute tubular necrosis
*Acute unilateral obstructive uropathy
*Alkalosis
*Alport syndrome
*Analgesic nephropathy
*Anorexia nervosa
*Atheroembolic renal disease
*Atrial myxoma
*Bladder stones
*Chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy
*Chronic glomerulonephritis
*Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection
*Chronic renal failure
*Chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy
*Chronic urethritis
*Complicated UTI (pyelonephritis)
*Congenital nephrotic syndrome
*Cystinuria
*Delirium
*Dementia
*Dementia due to metabolic causes
*Diabetes insipidus — central
*Diabetic nephropathy/sclerosis
*Enuresis
*Epididymitis
*Failure to thrive
*Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
*Goodpasture’s syndrome
*Heart failure
*Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS)
*Henoch-Schonlein purpura
*Insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD)
*IgA nephropathy (Berger’s disease)
*Injury of the kidney and ureter
*Interstitial nephritis
*Irritable bladder
*Left-sided heart failure
*Lupus nephritis
*Malignant hypertension (arteriolar nephrosclerosis)
*Medullary cystic kidney disease
*Membranoproliferative GN I
*Membranoproliferative GN II
*Membranous nephropathy
*Myelomeningocele (children)
*Necrotizing vasculitis
*Nephrotic syndrome
*Noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDD)
*Orchitis
*Ovarian cancer
*Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)
*Polycystic kidney disease
*Post-streptococcal GN
*Prerenal azotemia
*Primary amyloid
*Prostate cancer
*Prostatitis, acute
*Prostatitis, chronic
*Prostatitis, non-bacterial
*Pyelonephritis; acute
*Rapidly progressive (crescentic) glomerulonephritis
*Reflux nephropathy
*Renal papillary necrosis
*Renal tubular acidosis; distal
*Renal tubular acidosis; proximal
*Renal vein thrombosis
*Retrograde ejaculation
*Rhabdomyolysis
*Right-sided heart failure
*Secondary systemic amyloid
*Stress incontinence
*Systemic lupus erythematosus
*Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
*Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
*Traumatic injury of the bladder and urethra
*Ureterocele
*Urethral stricture
*Urethritis
*Wegener’s granulomatosis
*Wilms’ tumor

RESULTS:

Normal Results
Normal urine may vary in color from almost colorless to dark yellow. Some foods (like beets and blackberries) may turn the urine a red color.

Usually, glucose, ketones, protein, bilirubin, are not detectable in urine. The following are not normally found in urine:

*Hemoglobin
*Nitrites
*Red blood cells
*White blood cells
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean
For specific results, see the individual test article:

*Bilirubin – urine
*Glucose – urine
*Protein – urine
*Red blood cells in urine test
*Urine ketones
*Urine pH
*Urine protein
*Urine specific gravity

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor might be able to do a urinalysis in his or her office and can give you the results within 10-15 minutes. If the urine is sent to a separate laboratory, it usually takes several hours to get results, so you may not hear from your doctor until the next day. A urine culture takes 24 to 72 hours to complete, so you may not hear results for several days.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/urinalysis.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003579.htm

http://www.hallvet.com.au/services/urinalysis.html

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