Health Information

Acute Interstitial Nephritis

Definition

Acute interstitial nephritis is a kidney disorder that happens when the kidneys are unable to filter waste and fluid properly due to inflammation of the kidney.

Anatomy of the Kidney
Glomerulonephritis
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Causes

Acute interstitial nephritis can be caused by:

  • Certain medications
    • Antibiotics
    • Anti-ulcer drugs
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Diuretics
  • Infections such as:
  • Conditions that affect the immune system such as lupus

Risk Factors

Risk factors that increase your chance of developing acute interstitial nephritis include:

  • In adults: drug or medication use
  • In children: infection

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • 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

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. You treatment will depend on the cause of your acute interstitial nephritis. Treatment options include the following:

Medications

If medications are the cause of your interstitial nephritis, your doctor may have you stop taking medications or prescribe a different one.

Your doctor may prescribe the following:

  • Antibiotics to treat infection
  • Corticosteroid or cyclophosphamide to treat interstitial nephritis

Usually, a kidney biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis before starting a corticosteroid or cyclophosphamide.

Dialysis

Some people with interstitial nephritis need dialysis . During dialysis, a machine does the work of your kidneys by removing waste.

Prevention

To help reduce your chances of developing acute interstitial nephritis, your doctor may suggest you avoid certain medications such as penicillin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Revision Information

  • National Kidney Foundation

    http://www.kidney.org

  • National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

    http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov

  • Health Canada

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

  • Kidney Foundation of Canada

    http://www.kidney.ca

  • Acute interstitial nephritis. DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 10, 2010. Accessed July 12, 2013.

  • Kodner CM, Kudrimoti A. Diagnosis and management of acute interstitial nephritis. Am Fam Physician. 2003 June 15;67(12):2527-2534. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030615/2527.html. Accessed July 12, 2013.

  • Plakoglannis R, Nogid A: Acute interstitial nephritis associated with coadministration of vancomycin and ceftriaxone: case series and review of the literature. Pharmacotherapy. 2007:27:1456-1461.

  • Sierra F, Suzrez M, et al. Systematic review: Proton pump inhibitor-associated acute interstitial nephritis. Aliment Pharmaco Ther. 2007:26:545-553.