Tubulointerstitial nephritis; Nephritis - interstitial; Acute interstitial (allergic) nephritis
Interstitial nephritis is a kidney disorder in which the spaces between the kidney tubules become swollen (inflamed). This can cause problems with the way your kidneys work.
The acute form of interstitial nephritis is most often caused by side effects of certain drugs.
The following can cause interstitial nephritis:
Interstitial nephritis can cause mild to severe kidney problems, including
Symptoms of this condition may include:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. This may reveal:
Common tests include:
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Avoiding medicines that lead to this condition may quickly relieve symptoms.
Limiting salt and fluid in the diet can improve swelling and high blood pressure. Limiting protein in the diet can help control the buildup of waste products in the blood (azotemia) that can lead to symptoms of acute kidney failure.
If dialysis is necessary, it usually is required for only a short time.
Corticosteroids or stronger anti-inflammatory medicines such as cyclophosphamide can sometimes be helpful.
Most often, interstitial nephritis is a short-term disorder. In rare cases, it can cause permanent damage, including chronic kidney failure.
Acute interstitial nephritis may be more severe and more likely to lead to long-term or permanent kidney damage in older people.
Call your provider if you have symptoms of interstitial nephritis.
If you have interstitial nephritis, call your provider if you get new symptoms, especially if you are less alert or have a decrease in urine output.
Often, the disorder can't be prevented. Avoiding or reducing your use of medicines that can cause this condition can help reduce your risk.
Arend LJ. Tubulointerstitial diseases. In: Lager DJ, Abrahams NA, eds. Practical Renal Pathology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 7.
Nangaku M. Chronic interstitial nephritis. In: Johnson RJ, Feehally J, Floege J, eds. Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 64.
Last reviewed on: 9/22/2015
Reviewed by: Charles Silberberg, DO, private practice specializing in nephrology, affiliated with New York Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.