Author: Ronald J Falk, MD | Content provided by UpToDate.com.
Glomerular disease reduces the kidneys' ability to maintain a balance of certain substances in bloodstream. Normally, the kidneys filter toxins out of the bloodstream and excrete them in the urine but keep red blood cells and protein in the bloodstream. In people with glomerular disease, red blood cells and protein may be excreted into the urine, while toxins may be retained.
Glomerular disease can occur by itself (ie, affect only the kidney) or may be associated with an underlying medical condition that affects other organ systems, such as lupus, diabetes, or certain infections. Glomerular disease can develop suddenly ("acute" glomerular disease) or develop slowly over a period of years ("chronic" glomerular disease). Treatment of glomerular disease depends upon its cause and type.