​Post-Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis

Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN) is a disorder of the kidneys that occurs after a skin or throat infection due to the bacteria, Streptococcus pyogenes. The disease is not caused by the bacteria itself; instead it is caused by the body’s immune system. In PSGN, the body’s immune system creates antibodies to fight the bacteria causing infection. These antibodies attack the kidneys by mistake, causing inflammation of the glomeruli (kidney’s filter). This affects the kidneys’ ability to filter the blood and make urine for disposal. PSGN usually develops after a week or two of untreated throat infection and three to four weeks after a skin infection. Children between the ages of six and ten are more prone to this disease. While throat and skin infections are very common in children, it is very rare for them to develop PSGN as a complication of the infection.

Symptoms that occur due to post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis include:

  • Decrease in urine output

  • Edema (swelling due to fluid retention)

  • Rust-coloured urine

  • Blood in urine

  • Foamy urine due to excess protein

  • High blood pressure

  • Fatigue or joint pain​

Make an appointment with one of our doctors at the Children's Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital the only internationally accredited hospital in Pakistan, if you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms in your child.                         
Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.                         

The doctor may initially examine your child physically to look for signs of oedema and check their blood pressure which will, most probably, be high. For further information about your child’s ailment, the doctor may request the following tests:

  • Urinalysis to determine the presence of proteins and/or blood in the urine. You may be asked to collect your child's urine samples over the period of twenty-four hours for an accurate result​

  • Blood test, to check the protein levels and to measure antibodies (ASO titer) produced to combat the Streptococcus bacteria​​

  • A kidney biopsy in which a sample of the kidney cells is extracted using a special needle and studied under the microscope to determine the cause and extent of damage to the kidneys. It is done very rarely to diagnose PSGN​

Disclaimer: Kindly consult your physician before getting the above-mentioned tests.

PSGN is often not a cause of concern. Your child will most likely be treated for the symptoms generated by the disease and to prevent complications, as PSGN gets better on its own. Our doctors working with the Children's Hospital Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital aim to provide quality healthcare and patient satisfaction. Therefore, feel free to discuss the treatment plan with the doctor along with your personal preferences. The treatment options may include:

  • Medications to eliminate any streptococcal bacteria left in your child’s body

  • Diuretics which assist in controlling the swelling by increasing the fluid output by the kidney

  • Medications for blood pressure and medications which prevent the leakage of protein into the urine.

  • Teaching parents, home monitoring of blood pressure and urine (dipping stick)

You may be required to limit salt in your child’s diet in order to control swelling and high blood pressure.                         ​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.                         ​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.                         

​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.