Page 12 - Beaumont_Book_1
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        NEPHRITIS                                             Types of GN include:
           The term nephritis covers a group of conditions    FSGS – is scarring within the kidneys that can only
        in which there is long-term inflammation of the       be seen clearly under the microscope. Therefore, it
        kidneys ('neph-' means kidney, and '-itis' means      is normally only diagnosed after a biopsy of the
        inflammation). Sometimes the condition is             kidney. The name FSGS comes about in the
        described more specifically as glomerulonephritis     following way:
        or GN ('glomerulo-' refers to the glomerulus, which     F – FOCAL means that some glomeruli are
        is part of the kidney’s filtration unit).                   affected but others may not be.
           When a glomerulus is damaged, substances not         S – SEGMENTAL means affecting only a
        normally filtered out of the blood stream, such as          segment of each glomerulus involved.
        proteins, red blood cells and white blood cells, can    G – GLOMERULO of the glomeruli.
        pass through the glomerulus and enter the fluid         S – SCLEROSIS meaning scarring.
        that becomes urine. Progressive damage to the
        glomeruli can cause urine production to fall and
        waste products to build-up in the blood, leading to      It seems that the general cause of FSGS is
        kidney disease. There are many types of               immunological. That is, the antibodies and white
        glomerulonephritis. These may be grouped as           blood cells that usually fight off infection cause
        primary and secondary.                                damage to the body by mistake. This condition
           In primary GN, only the kidneys are affected. In   commonly results in severe swelling of the legs and
        secondary GN, the kidneys are damaged as part of      high blood pressure. The condition may reoccur
        a more generalised disease that can affect other      after kidney transplantation and cause the
        parts of the body. The exact diagnosis can usually    failure of a kidney transplant. A number of drug
        only be diagnosed for certain by a kidney biopsy.     treatments are used to try to stop the damage to
                                                              the kidney that the condition causes. These drugs
                                                              include steroids, Cyclosporin, Cyclophosphamide
                                                              and CellCept.

        P.10 Kidney Disease — A Guide for Patients
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