Skip to content

Information and Resources

Font Size
A
A
A

Glomerulosclerosis

Glomerulosclerosis refers to scarring or hardening of the glomeruli -- blood vessels located in the kidneys. The glomeruli filter the blood as it passes through the kidneys. They remove waste fluids that then leave the body as urine.

Damaged glomeruli can't perform their job adequately. As a result, large amounts of protein from the blood leak into the urine rather than remaining in the bloodstream. This leads to a condition called proteinuria.

Recommended Related to

Understanding Kidney Disease -- Symptoms

Early detection is the first step in treating chronic kidney disease. The symptoms of kidney disease may include: Nausea and vomiting Passing only small amounts of urine Swelling, particularly of the ankles, and puffiness around the eyes Unpleasant taste in the mouth and urine-like odor to the breath Persistent fatigue or shortness of breath Loss of appetite Increasingly higher blood pressure Muscle cramps, especially in the legs Pale skin Excessively dry, itchy s...

Read the Understanding Kidney Disease -- Symptoms article > >

Glomerulosclerosis can affect children and adults. Men are slightly more likely to develop it. African-Americans are at higher risk than whites.

Causes of Glomerulosclerosis

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a kidney disease that can lead to glomerulosclerosis. In FSGS, the scarring occurs only in some of the glomeruli. And only part of the individual glomeruli is damaged.

Untreated, it can lead to kidney failure. In some cases, kidney failure can occur despite treatment.

FSGS most frequently occurs without a cause. In such cases it is called idiopathic or primary FSGS. Sometimes, though, FSGS does have a known cause, and these can include:

  • HIV infection
  • Obesity
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Birth defects of the kidneys
  • Heroin or other drug use
  • Genetic causes (in rare cases)

Besides FSGS, glomerulosclerosis can be caused by these diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • HIV infection
  • Sickle cell disease

Conditions that damage the kidneys can also lead to glomerulosclerosis. These include:

  • Glomerulonephritis, which causes the glomeruli to become inflamed
  • Reflux nephropathy, in which urine flows back into the kidney

Chemicals and medicines that harm the kidneys can also cause glomerulosclerosis.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

man rubbing painful knee
Causes, warning signs.
feet
Solutions for 19 types.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
Live and thrive.
couple kissing
What do you know about locking lips?
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
man with problem
Symptoms, causes, treatments.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.