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Pyelonephritis vs. Glomerulonephritis: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Pyelonephritis is an infection of the kidney, often due to bacteria, while glomerulonephritis is inflammation of the kidney's glomeruli, typically due to immune responses.
Pyelonephritis vs. Glomerulonephritis

Key Differences

Pyelonephritis is primarily an infectious condition, typically caused by bacteria, affecting the renal pelvis and the kidney. Glomerulonephritis, however, is an inflammation of the glomeruli, the tiny structures within the kidneys that filter blood. Pyelonephritis is often a result of a urinary tract infection, while glomerulonephritis is usually caused by immune system dysfunctions or diseases.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023
Symptoms of pyelonephritis can include fever, back or side pain, and symptoms of a urinary tract infection. In contrast, glomerulonephritis often presents with blood in the urine, proteinuria, and sometimes reduced kidney function. Pyelonephritis' symptoms are more related to infection, whereas glomerulonephritis' symptoms reflect kidney filtration issues.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023
The treatment for pyelonephritis typically involves antibiotics to combat the bacterial infection. Treatment for glomerulonephritis varies depending on the cause but may include immunosuppressive drugs and treatments to manage symptoms like high blood pressure. Pyelonephritis treatment targets infection, while glomerulonephritis treatment focuses on reducing inflammation and managing underlying conditions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023
Risk factors for pyelonephritis include bladder infections, urinary tract blockages, and a history of kidney stones. Glomerulonephritis risk factors are more varied and can include autoimmune diseases, infections like strep throat, and certain genetic conditions. Pyelonephritis risks are often linked to urinary tract issues, while glomerulonephritis has a broader range of triggers.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023
Complications of pyelonephritis can lead to kidney scarring and chronic kidney disease if not treated promptly. In contrast, glomerulonephritis can progress to kidney failure in severe or chronic cases. Both conditions can lead to serious kidney issues, but their progression and complications differ based on their underlying causes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Infection of the kidney's renal pelvis.
Inflammation of the kidney's glomeruli.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Typical Causes

Bacterial infection.
Immune response, autoimmune diseases.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Primary Symptoms

Fever, back pain, UTI symptoms.
Blood in urine, proteinuria, reduced kidney function.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Treatment

Antibiotics to treat infection.
Immunosuppressants, managing symptoms and underlying conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Potential Complications

Kidney scarring, chronic kidney disease.
Kidney failure, chronic kidney issues.
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Dec 02, 2023
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Pyelonephritis and Glomerulonephritis Definitions

Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis is an inflammation of the renal pelvis and kidney tissue.
Pyelonephritis can be a serious complication of a urinary tract infection.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Glomerulonephritis

Inflammation of the kidney's tiny filtering units, the glomeruli.
The patient's persistent proteinuria led to a diagnosis of glomerulonephritis.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis is a bacterial infection of the kidney.
After experiencing severe back pain and fever, she was diagnosed with pyelonephritis.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Glomerulonephritis

A kidney disease marked by glomerular damage, affecting filtration.
Glomerulonephritis was suspected after observing hematuria and elevated blood pressure in the patient.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis is a type of kidney infection usually caused by urinary bacteria.
He was treated with antibiotics for pyelonephritis.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023
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Glomerulonephritis

A condition involving renal glomeruli damage, often leading to chronic kidney disease.
Due to prolonged glomerulonephritis, the patient developed chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis can lead to symptoms like flank pain, fever, and urinary discomfort.
Symptoms of pyelonephritis include fever and pain in the upper back or side.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Glomerulonephritis

A renal ailment characterized by inflammation and scarring of glomeruli.
His biopsy showed scarring indicative of chronic glomerulonephritis.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis often results from bacteria ascending from the bladder to the kidneys.
The patient's pyelonephritis was likely due to an untreated bladder infection.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Glomerulonephritis

An immune-related disorder causing kidney inflammation and dysfunction.
The autoimmune response in her body triggered glomerulonephritis, compromising her renal function.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Pyelonephritis

Inflammation of the kidney and its pelvis, caused by bacterial infection.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Glomerulonephritis

A form of nephritis characterized by inflammation of the renal glomeruli.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pyelonephritis

(pathology) An ascending urinary tract infection of the renal pelvis
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Glomerulonephritis

(medicine) A form of nephritis characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pyelonephritis

Inflammation of the kidney and its pelvis caused by bacterial infection
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Glomerulonephritis

Nephritis marked by inflammation of the glomeruli of the kidney; characterized by decreased production of urine and by the presence of blood and protein in the urine and by edema
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

How is pyelonephritis diagnosed?

Diagnosis typically involves urine tests, blood tests, and imaging like ultrasounds or CT scans.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Can pyelonephritis lead to complications?

Yes, it can lead to renal scarring, sepsis, or chronic kidney disease if untreated.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

How is pyelonephritis treated?

It's treated with antibiotics, and severe cases may require hospitalization.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

What are common symptoms of pyelonephritis?

Symptoms include fever, back or side pain, nausea, and urinary symptoms like burning or frequency.
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Dec 02, 2023

Does pyelonephritis affect both kidneys?

It can affect one or both kidneys.
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Can pyelonephritis recur?

Yes, some individuals may experience recurrent infections.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

What is glomerulonephritis?

It's inflammation of the kidney's glomeruli, affecting filtration.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

What is pyelonephritis?

Pyelonephritis is a bacterial infection of the kidneys, often stemming from a urinary tract infection.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Are there preventive measures for pyelonephritis?

Preventive measures include good urinary hygiene and managing risk factors like diabetes.
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Dec 02, 2023

What are the symptoms of glomerulonephritis?

Symptoms can include blood in urine, proteinuria, edema, and high blood pressure.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

How is glomerulonephritis treated?

Treatment may involve blood pressure medications, immune-suppressing drugs, and lifestyle changes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

What causes glomerulonephritis?

Causes include autoimmune diseases, infections, and other medical conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Is glomerulonephritis a chronic condition?

It can be acute or chronic, depending on the cause and response to treatment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Can glomerulonephritis lead to kidney failure?

Yes, severe or untreated cases can progress to kidney failure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Is pyelonephritis contagious?

No, it's not contagious but is caused by bacteria that can spread in other ways.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Can glomerulonephritis be cured?

Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and slowing progression, but some forms can be cured.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

What are the complications of glomerulonephritis?

Complications can include chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and nephrotic syndrome.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Who is at higher risk for pyelonephritis?

Women, due to their shorter urethra, and individuals with urinary tract blockages or other kidney problems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

How is glomerulonephritis diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves urine tests, blood tests, and sometimes a kidney biopsy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Are there lifestyle changes to manage glomerulonephritis?

Yes, including dietary changes, managing blood pressure, and avoiding nephrotoxic substances.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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