Diagnosis of Glomerulonephritis

The diagnosis of Glomerulonephritis is usually performed in a clinical setting. Since the symptoms often develop very slowly, especially in the case of chronic glomerulonephritis, they are often missed. More often than not, the condition is discovered during a routine physical examination or a urinalysis performed for a completely different health condition. If a person experiences reduced kidney function or pain in the sides, it may be an indication of glomerulonephritis.

The doctor may suspect reduce kidney functioning, but this can only be confirmed using a kidney biopsy. There are several imaging tests for Glomerulonephritis as well. These include:

  • Abdominal CT Scans: These CT scans are performed to detect injuries to the kidneys.
  • Kidney Ultrasound: Though a kidney ultrasound may not always be a doctor’s first choice, sometimes such ultrasounds are required to ensure that you have a healthy kidney that functions fully.
  • Chest X Rays: These are performed check for infections in the chest.
  • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): This is a test which helps examine the kidneys, bladder, and ureters. The test can detect any infections and abnormalities present in these organs and structures.
In addition to these imaging tests, there is further testing that doctors often recommend. Urinalysis is usually performed to check the chemical composition of urine. Some of these tests include:

  • Creatinine Clearance: This test compares the creatinine levels in the blood and the urine. Abnormal results may be caused due to glomerulonephritis or end stage kidney failure.
  • Total Protein: This test measures the total amount of albumin and globulin in the urine. Abnormal results are an indication of kidney disease and kidney failure.
  • Urine Concentration Test: This test measures the specific gravity and osmolality of urine. It helps find out if you are suffering from kidney disease.
  • Other tests are performed to measure the amount of uric acid, creatinine, proteins and red blood cells in the urine.
Your doctor may also ask you to perform tests such as:

  • Anti-nuclear antibodies
  • Albumin
  • Complement levels
  • Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody test
  • BUN and Creatinine
  • Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs)