Parenchymal and Glomerular Renal Disease
Glomerulonephritis is a common condition that is caused by inflammation in the kidneys, resulting in kidney damage and, in some patients, in kidney failure and often can recur in a kidney transplant. The causes of these disorders are complex and diverse and some have a genetic basis. Many are associated with systemic diseases. While treatment is available for some types of glomerulonephritis, many traditional therapies are toxic, non-specific and have the potential for major side effects and some glomerulonephritis disease subtypes do not respond to any therapies. New therapeutic options are urgently needed.
Comprehensive clinical services are provided for patients with these diseases in the Glomerular Disease Clinic in the Mayo Clinic Division of Nephrology and Hypertension where over over 500 patients with these diseases are seen annually. We provide services to local patients, national and international patients / referring physicians for evaluation of all glomerular disease subtypes in consultation with the patient and home physician.
Advice is provided on diet, blood pressure management and other lifestyle modifications. Patients who fail to respond to treatment are referred for early kidney transplant workup and the philosophy of this group is to avoid dialysis if possible. An active program in living related and living unrelated kidney donors is available at Mayo Clinic Transplant Center.
The service provides consultation with an expert in glomerular disease, along with information from kidney biopsy, disease biomarkers and measured renal clearances (using the Mayo Clinic Renal Function Laboratory where patients can obtain a sensitive measure of kidney function known as the short iothalamate clearance test of glomerular filtration rate) and also specialized renal imaging modalities.
In general, clinical trials are used to test the safety and effectiveness of drugs and medical procedures in patients with glomerular diseases at Mayo Clinic. This ongoing collaboration between physician investigators and study volunteers is one of the foundations of healthcare as clinical trials help set the standards for patient care. There are potential benefits, as well, for clinical trial volunteers. Participation in these trials requires a referral to Mayo Clinic or through a member of the Mayo Clinic Nephrology Collaborative Group. Volunteers with existing diseases or conditions can play a more active role in their own healthcare, gain access to new research treatments and help others by contributing to medical research. For more information about clinical trials, in glomerulonephritis, go to clinical trials. We actively track the epidemiologic patterns in glomerular disease through the Mayo Clinic renal biopsy database.
Basic scientists at Mayo Clinic are studying new ways to monitor glomerulonephritis using disease biomarkers, molecular markers and to identify new genes involved in these diseases and their underlying immunological processes involved in their pathogenesis.
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