Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in children

  • Khemchand N Moorani
  • Madiha Aziz
  • Farhana Amanullah Indus Hospital & Health Network
Keywords: RPGN, Acute glomerulonephritis, Crescentic GN, Acute kidney injury, Immunosuppressive therapy


Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN), characterized by a rapid development of nephritis with loss of kidney function in days or weeks, is typically associated histologically, with crescents in most glomeruli; and is a challenging problem, particularly in low resource settings. RPGN is a diagnostic and therapeutic emergency requiring prompt evaluation and treatment to prevent poor outcomes. Histopathologically, RPGN consists of four major categories, anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease, immune complex mediated, pauci-immune disorders and idiopathic /overlap disorders. Clinical manifestations include gross hematuria, proteinuria, oliguria, hypertension and edema. Diagnostic evaluation, including renal function tests, electrolytes, urinalysis/microscopy and serology including (anti GBM antibody, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)) starts simultaneously with management. An urgent renal biopsy is required to allow specific pathologic diagnosis as well as to assess disease activity and chronicity to guide specific treatment. The current guidelines for management of pediatric RPGN are adopted from adult experience and consist of induction and maintenance therapy. Aggressive combination immunosuppression has markedly improved outcomes, however, nephrotic syndrome, severe acute kidney injury requiring dialysis, presence of fibrous crescents and chronicity are predictors of poor renal survival. RPGN associated post infectious glomerulonephritis (PIGN) usually has good prognosis in children without immunosuppression whereas immune-complex-mediated GN and lupus nephritis (LN) are associated with poor prognosis with  development of end stage kidney disease (ESKD) in more than 50% and 30% respectively. Given the need for prompt diagnosis and urgent treatment to avoid devastating outcomes, we conducted a review of the latest evidence in RPGN management to help formulate clinical practice guidance for children in our setting.Information sources and search strategy: The search strategy was performed in the digital databases of PubMed, Cochrane Library, google scholar, from their inception dates to December 2020. Three investigators independently performed a systematic search using the following search terms “Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis” “children” “crescentic glomerulonephritis” “management” at the same time, backtracking search for references of related literature.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.ICON-2022.5774

How to cite this:
Moorani KN, Aziz M, Amanullah F. Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in children. Pak J Med Sci. 2022;38(2):417-425.   doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.ICON-2022.5774

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Moorani, K. N., Aziz, M., & Amanullah, F. (2021). Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in children. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 38(ICON-2022). https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.ICON-2022.5774