Classification and external resources
MeSH D009393

Nephritis is inflammation of the nephrons in the kidneys. The word "nephritis" was imported from Latin, which took it from Greek: νεφρίτιδα.[1] The word comes from the Greek νεφρός - nephro- meaning "of the kidney" and -itis meaning "inflammation". Nephritis is often caused by infections, toxins, and auto-immune diseases.



Nephritis is the most common producer of glomerular injury. It is a disturbance of the glomerular structure with inflammatory cell proliferation. This can lead to reduced glomerular blood flow, leading to reduced urine output (oliguria) and retention of waste products (uremia). As a result, red blood cells may leak out of damaged glomeruli, causing blood to appear in the urine (hematuria). Low renal blood flow activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), causing fluid retention and mild hypertension.

Nephritis refers to inflammation of one or both kidneys. It can be caused by infection, but is most commonly caused by autoimmune disorders that affect the major organs. For example, those with lupus are at a much higher risk for developing nephritis. In rare cases nephritis can be genetically inherited, though it may not present in childhood.

Nephritis is a serious medical condition which is the ninth highest cause of human death. As the kidneys inflame, they begin to excrete needed protein from the body into the urine stream. This condition is called proteinuria. Loss of necessary protein due to nephritis can result in several life-threatening symptoms. Most dangerous in cases of nephritis is the loss of protein that keeps blood from clotting. This can result in blood clots causing sudden stroke.


Disability-adjusted life year for nephritis and nephrosis per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.[2]
  no data
  less than 40
  more than 840

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • nephritis — (n.) 1570s, from L.L. nephritis, from Gk. nephritis disease of the kidneys, from nephros kidney (see NEPHRON (Cf. nephron)) + ITIS (Cf. itis) inflammation. Related: Nephritic …   Etymology dictionary

  • Nephrītis — Nephrītis, Nierenentzündung. Nephritis vertebra, der erste der Lendenwirbel …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • nephritis — [nə frīt′əs] n. [LL < Gr nephritis: see NEPHRO & ITIS] an acute or chronic disease of the kidneys, characterized by inflammation, degeneration, fibrosis, etc.: see BRIGHT S DISEASE …   English World dictionary

  • Nephritis — Ne*phri tis, n. [L., fr. Gr. nefri^tis (sc. ?), fr. nefro s a kidney.] (Med.) An inflammation of the kidneys. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nephrītis — (griech.), Nierenentzündung (s. Nierenkrankheiten); nephritisch, die Nieren betreffend …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Nephritis — Nephrītis (grch.), Nierenentzündung; nephrītisch, die Nieren betreffend, nierenkrank; Nephrophthīsis, Nierenschwund, Nierentuberkulose; Nephropyelītis, Nierenbeckenentzündung; Nephropyōse, Niereneiterung; Nephrorrhagīe, Nierenblutung;… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • nephritis — ► NOUN ▪ inflammation of the kidneys. ORIGIN from Greek nephros kidney …   English terms dictionary

  • nephritis — nephritic /neuh frit ik/, adj. /neuh fruy tis/, n. Pathol. inflammation of the kidneys, esp. in Bright s disease. [1570 80; < LL nephritis a disease of the kidneys < Gk nephrîtis. See NEPHR , ITIS] * * * Inflammation of the kidneys. There are… …   Universalium

  • Nephritis — Die Nephritis (griechisch Nephros=Niere) ist ein Sammelbegriff für die akuten oder chronischen entzündlichen Erkrankungen der Niere. Darunter fallen folgende Erkrankungen: Glomerulonephritis Interstitielle Nephritis Pyelonephritis: Erkrankung des …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • nephritis — ne•phri•tis [[t]nəˈfraɪ tɪs[/t]] n. pat inflammation of the kidneys, esp. in Bright s disease • Etymology: 1570–80; < LL nephrītis kidney disease < Gk nephrîtis. See nephro , itis ne•phrit′ic ˈfrɪt ɪk adj …   From formal English to slang

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