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Renal disease in rheumatoid arthritis: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help


Renal disease is a well-recognized cause of ill health and death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The most common cause of toxic effect on the kidneys is the drugs used treat arthritis. Gold and penicillamine may lead inflammation (glomerulonephritis) of the kidneys, in between 10 and 30 % of patients. Anti-inflammatory drugs that are used for pain relief are also associated with the development of kidney failure and inflammation of the kidney.

A second major but diminishing cause of renal disease in rheumatoid arthritis is amyloidosis. There is now also good evidence that rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with the development of a glomerulonephritis. The main types described are a proliferative glomerulonephritis with or without IgA deposits, and a focal segmental necrotizing glomerulonephritis of the vasculitic type.