The term glomerulonephritis is applied to inflammatory diseases of the renal glomeruli. Acute and chronic or latent stages may be recognized clinically and anatomically.
Acute glomerulonephritis is a disorder associated with the appearance of protein, erythrocytes, leukocytes, and renal tubular epithelial cells in the urine. Red blood cell casts may be present and serve to distinguish the disease sharply from others in which bleeding occurs distal to the glomerulus. The full blown clinical picture is completed by the addition of hypertension, edema, oliguria, azotemia, and, in the more severely ill, cardiac enlargement with or without congestive failure. Convulsions occur in a very few cases.Nearly all illnesses exhibiting this pattern, and a high proportion of all others in which glomerular bleeding occurs, are the result of group A hemolytic streptococcus infection. Only a few strains of these organisms, notably those of types 4, 12, and 49 (Redlake), are