Interstitial Nephritis

Overview

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:

  • Certain medications, such as:
    • Antibiotics
    • Anti-ulcer drugs
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Diuretics
  • Infections, such as:
    • Streptococcus
    • Herpes
    • Mumps
    • Hepatitis C
    • Syphilis
    • HIV
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus

Risk Factors

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

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

SymptomsandDiagnosis

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

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:

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

Images may be taken of your kidneys. This can be done with ultrasound.

Treatments

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.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

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. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115064/Acute-interstitial-nephritis . Updated December 9, 2014. Accessed September 27, 2016.

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.