Acute interstitial nephritis


The kidneys, a pair of organs located on the left and right side of the abdomen, are an essential component of the urinary tract. The kidneys are responsible for removing toxins, chemicals and waste products from the blood. They also regulate acid concentration and maintain water and electrolyte balance in the body by excreting urine.
Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) is a kidney disorder characterized by inflammation of the tubules and the spaces between the renal (kidney) tubules and the glomeruli (tiny structure in the kidney made of capillary blood vessels).
Strong evidence suggests that acute interstitial nephritis is an immune-mediated tubulointerstitial injury, which is initiated by medications or infections.
Nephritis may be acute (lasting only a few weeks) or chronic (long-term). If the condition is chronic, kidney damage can become progressively worse. Chronic nephritis is more common among the elderly and often results in permanent kidney damage.
About 15% of kidney failure cases are related to acute interstitial nephritis. In rare occasions AIN may cause permanent damage, including chronic renal failure.
Most patients who have drug-induced AIN recover soon after the medication is discontinued. These patients are expected to recover to normal or near-normal renal function within a few weeks. Patients who stop taking the offending medications within two weeks of the onset of AIN are more likely to recover completely than individuals who continue to take the medication for three weeks or longer, according to researchers.

Related Terms

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