Interstitial nephritis (say: in-ter-stih-shul nef-rye-tus) is a kidney disorder. The kidneys filter waste and extra fluid from the body. Interstitial nephritis reduces the kidneys’ ability to filter properly.
Interstitial nephritis is a serious condition, but it can be treated. However, in rare cases, it may cause kidney failure. When the kidneys fail, waste and extra fluid build up in the body and can cause problems with the heart, brain, lungs and other organs.
Your doctor will probably ask whether you have noticed any of the following signs and symptoms:
Interstitial nephritis can be caused by the following problems:
Interstitial nephritis may occur 2 or more weeks after you start a medicine. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about a medicine you are taking.
If you have one or more symptom, your doctor may test your urine (called a urinalysis) and your blood.
Interstitial nephritis is caused by an underlying problem. If that problem is an infection, your doctor will treat the infection. If a medicine is the cause of interstitial nephritis, he or she will probably have you stop taking the medicine or prescribe a different one. In some cases, corticosteroids (medicines that reduce inflammation) may help. Dialysis, a treatment that uses a special machine to filter the blood, is sometimes necessary.
Diagnosis and Management of Acute Interstitial Nephritis by CM Kodner, M.D. and A Kudrimoti, M.D. (American Family Physician June 15, 2003, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030615/2527.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff