Ultrasound images of Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is an inflammatory condition which affects the glomeruli of the kidney. It may be either acute or chronic, and frequently follows prolonged infection. Patients may present in acute renal failure, with oliguria or anuria, or with features of nephrotic syndrome such as oedema, proteinuria and ypoalbuminaemia. Depending upon aetiology, acute renal failure may be reversible or may progress to chronic renal failure requiring dialysis. Glomerulonephritis can be caused by numerous mechanisms:

  1. Immunologic mechanisms, for example in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

  2. Metabolic disorders, for example diabetes

  3. Circulatory disturbances, for example atherosclerosis or disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

As with acute tubular necrosis, the ultrasound appearances are non-specific. In the acute stages the kidneys may be slightly enlarged; changes in the echogenicity of the cortex may be observed. In the chronic stages the kidneys shrink, become hyperechoic, lose cortical thickness and have increased corticomedullary differentiation.

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