Difference between glomerulonephritis and nephrotic syndrome?

  1. They seem very similar to me. Both have the same dx, both cause fluid overload, and in both you spill
    protein in to the urine. Can somebody please explain...are they the same thing? If not, how are they different? I'm having a hard time differentiating between the two.

    Thank you in advance.
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    About Vines812

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  3. by   Jonathank
    Good question.

    Nephritic syndrome is severe acute glomerulonephritis. Nephrotic syndrome may be similar, but it's more complicated and, I think, serious. There's a danger of a sudden and severe pressure drop.

    I'm sure someone will be able to give a more complete explanation...
  4. by   CrunchyMama
    I just had my renal test last week and I still can't answer your question, lol. :X
  5. by   gumby1411
    I'm studying that right now for my exam on Tuesday!

    Here's my best explanation:
    They are very similar, but the cause of the edema is different.

    Glomerulonephritis is caused by immune complexes that deposit in the basement membranes of the glomeruli, which makes them edematous and infiltrated with leukocytes. This causes capillaries to occlude, basically resulting in water and sodium retention. Because interstitial fluid volumes are increased, the circulatory system becomes congested = edema.

    Nephrotic syndrome is caused by the glomeruli becoming permeable to albumin --> leads to proteinuria --> hypoproteinemia --> decreased oncotic pressure --> edema.

    Acute glomerulonephritis is a result of a streptococcal infection. It typically presents weeks after the infection has cleared, but is a direct result of the infection. Nephrotic syndrome has many causes from disease of the kidney to a condition that has affected another part of the body (like Hep B or diabetes mellitus).

    I hope this helps a bit! I had to write them on a card and compare them side by side. I'm sure after I regurgitate it for my exam, I'll immediately forget. Good luck!
  6. by   kenpochic
    well they are similar. there symptoms etc are the same. Easy way of thinking of it is nephrotic syndrome is exactly that is caused by many different disease where the glomerulus is now going to let protein filter through. Glomerulonephritis is the actually condition. but the same thing happends the filteration rate decreases and protein amounts others larger molecules are let through. Therefore ALL the same symptoms happen again. i dunno this is the way i finally got it. ones a actually disease and the other is the conditions caused by many diseases that decrease filteration and let large things through. same symptoms

    I dunno maybe. that what helped for me sometimes you gotta see how your brain works and what works for u
  7. by   xxiangel
    Found a blog that might help you! It helped me!

  8. by   ashleyisawesome
    nephrotic syndrom is a set of symptoms that occurs relating to many problems with the glomeruli, glomerularnephritis is a disease..

    glomerularnephritis is characterized by gross hematuria (cola/tea colored urine), and trace proteinuria.

    nephrotic syndrome is gross proteinuria (>3.5g/day.. i think!), and possible trace hematuria.

    there are more differences i believe but thats how i remembered them, glomerularnephritis= alot of blood, a little bit of protein, nephrotic syndrome= a lot of protein, a little bit of blood.
  9. by   SirJohnny
    Update: Oct-2017 -- Here is a link to webpage that explains in terms for us dummies.

    Nephrotic Syndrome vs Glomerulonephritis NCLEX Review


    To differentiate between the two -- Here is what I use:

    ... "itis equals infection which produces lots of blood."

    Hope this helps.