About Glomerular Disease

The glomerulus is a microscopic part of the kidney that serves as the filter between our blood and the fluid that ultimately becomes urine. We have millions of glomeruli within each kidney and they are vital to normal kidney health. There are many kidney diseases which affect the glomerulus. Damage to this vital part of the kidney is often detected through the urine by the presence of hematuria (red blood cells in the urine) and/or proteinuria (abnormal presence of protein in the urine). Often but not always, kidney function, measured by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), is also reduced with glomerular disease.  Glomerular diseases are typically classified as one of two possible syndromes: nephrotic syndrome or glomerulonephritis. Nephrotic syndrome is defined by the presence of the following signs/symptoms including severe proteinuria (typically without hematuria), low serum albumin, edema, and elevated serum lipids. Glomerulonephritis often presents with both hematuria and proteinuria and a decline in eGFR.