The diagnosis of nephritic syndrome is often complicated because there are different stages of the disease. The most common is acute, characterized by sudden, painful symptoms, and the second stage is chronic, characterized by slow progression. Chronic nephritic syndrome leads to kidney scarring, which negatively impacts the kidneys’ function and ultimately leads to high blood pressure and dialysis. The latter stage may require kidney transplantation.
Diagnosis of the condition depends on the severity of the disease. In most cases, the nephrotic syndrome has no primary cause, but secondary causes can cause the disease. Diabetes, lupus, or other health conditions such as adenomyosis can all increase the risk for nephritic syndrome. The condition can progress to end-stage kidney failure within five to 10 years.
Depending on the underlying cause, a kidney biopsy may be required to determine a proper treatment. It is recommended for patients whose symptoms do not respond to conservative treatment. However, in some cases, a biopsy is not necessary. The biopsy may reveal a different cause for nephritic syndrome. If the biopsy shows signs of SLE or post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, the doctor may recommend a course of corticosteroids.
Diagnosis of nephritic syndrome requires the presence of several conditions. High protein diets can aggravate this condition. Blood pressure medications, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-II receptor blockers, may reduce protein excretion. Other drugs, such as diuretics and statins, may help with lowering cholesterol levels and reducing swelling.