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Current Pediatric Research

Clinical Study of Post Streptococcal Acute Glomerulonephritis in Children with Special reference to Presentation

Author(s): Kumar GV

Vol. 15, No. 2 (2011-07 - 2011-12)

Kumar GV

Department of Pediatrics, Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, Karnataka. India.


Acute glomerulonephritis, essentially a disease of child hood that accounts for 90% of renal disorders in children. Acute glomerulonephritis (AGN) is a disease characterized by the sudden appearance of edema, hematuria, proteinuria, and hypertension. There is wide vari-ability in manifestations and course of the disease where they do not predict the out come. Hence this study was undertaken to analyze the various types of clinical presentations of both typical and atypical post streptococcal glomerulonephrits. This study included 50 cases of acute glomerulonephritis admitted to the pediatric wards. Detailed history and clinical ex-amination was performed. Routine blood analysis, serum urea and creatinine and urine analysis were done. It was observed that odema, oliguria and hematuria were present in all patients. In 80% of the cases which had hypertension were associated with oedema. Pallor was seen in 20% of cases Z = 0.35 < 1.96. CCF, hepatomegaly and ascites were seen in 5% of cases. ASO titre and ESR were non specific.

Key words: Glomerulonephritis, Edema, Proteinuria, Hematuria
Accepted April 15 2011


Acute glomerulonephritis (AGN) is a disease character-ized by the sudden appearance of edema, hematuria, proteinuria, and hypertension [1, 2]. It is essentially a dis-ease of child hood that accounts for approximately 90% of renal disorders in children. The group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus (GAS) is a common infective agent in children that causes the widest range of clinical disease in humans of any bacterium [3]. Glomeru-lonephritis is a disease of the low socioeconomic class [4]. Post-streptococcal acute glomerulonephritis (PSAGN) is still prevalent in the developing countries [5]. Burden of APSGN in underdeveloped countries is 9.3 cases per 100,000 populations [6].

Infection can be that of respiratory tract in the form of pharyngitis, otitis media or skin infections like pyoderma, impetigo or infected scabies [7]. Streptococcal pyoderma is a frequent complication of scabies in tropics and usu-ally is manifested by small vesicles that break early and leave a thick crust; post impetigo nephritis has an incuba-tion period of 3 to 6 weeks [8]. Streptococcal pharyngitis may cause only sore throat or may be associated with fe-ver, cervical adenopathy and purulent exudates, less than 3% of pharyngitis without any of these symptoms is strep-tococcal. The latent period of PSAGN and acute respiretory tract infection is about 1 to 3 weeks. Pharyngitis re-lated PSAGN tends to peak in winter and spring months, and pyodermas related PSAGN is more prevalent in summer and autumn although this is by no means abso-lute. [7].

The incidence of cardiac involvement is very variable. Congestive cardiac failure is a common manifestation of acute glomerulonephritis and occurs in 15% to 50% of children with PSAGN [9]. In the early phase of illness the clinical picture closely resemble that of CCF with car-diomegaly, systolic apical murmur, gallop rhythm, tachy-cardia, dyspnoea, liver enlargements and pulmonary edema. These symptoms may appear suddenly usually in presence of hypertension and may be the presenting symptom of PSAGN. Children with PSAGN may develop hypertensive encephalopathy at comparatively lower lev-els of blood pressure. Drowsiness and convulsion may be the presenting features and may resemble encephalitis. Measurement of blood pressure and urine examination is diagnostic [7].

The manifestations and course of the disease is varied and do not predict the outcome. Therefore, this study intended to analyse the various clinical presentations and with both typical and atypical of post streptococcal glomeru-lonephrits.

Materials and Methods

The present study was conducted in the pediatric depart-ment of Jubilee Mission Medical College Hospital, Thris-sur. This study includes a clinical and detailed systematic evaluation of 50 cases of acute glomerulonephritis admit-ted to the pediatric wards.

Inclusion Criteria

All children of 3-12 years age group presenting with acute onset of edema, oliguria and hematuria with or without hypertension and proteinuria, along with or without any evidence of antecedent streptococcal infection were se-lected.

Exclusion Criteria

Children having history suggestive of renal and cardiac disease in the past were excluded from the study.

Having selected the cases, a detailed history was taken with particular reference to the type of antecedent infec-tion and initial symptomatology. A detailed clinical ex-amination was done to note the signs of cardiac failure with particular emphasis was given to recording of blood pressure, heart rate, heart sounds gallop rhythm and mur-murs. Congestive cardiac failure was said to be present if the child who had tachycardia, tachypnoea, hepatomegaly and raised Jugular venous pressure. Hypertension was said to be present when Blood pressure exceeds 95th cen-tile for the age [10]. Complete urine examination was done with special reference to the colour of urine quantity of urine passed in 24 hours, semiquantitative estimation of albumin using sulphosalicylic acid, microscopy for abnormal urinary sediments and estimation of urine pro-tein. Blood urea, serum creatinine were also estimated. Chest X-ray was taken in all patients to look for pulmo-nary congestion.


Of the 4067 pediatric cases admitted 50 (1.23%) were AGN. Taking the hypothesis that AGN has hospital oc-currence of 1% of all pediatric admissions, 1.23% is ac-cepted by normal test with Z = 1.56, < 1.96. Cases were in the age group of 3-13 years, of which 15 (30%) cases were in the age group of 3-6 years, 21(42%) were in 6-9 years and 14 (28%) were in 9-13years. Using Z test, Z = 0.39, < 1.96, it was shown that 95% of these cases have an average age between 6.73 to 8.01 years. 28 (56%) were male children and 22 (44%) were females children. There was no gender susceptibility for AGN (χ2 = 1.43 P = 0.23, > 0.05). 17 (34%) children admitted in winter (Oct-Jan), 11 (22%) in summer (Feb-May) and 22 (44%) in rainy season (June-Sept). The seasonal incidence has an effect with 50% of cases admitted in rainy season fol-lowed by winter 30% and only 20% in summer ( χ2 = 1.45 P = 0.48, > 0.05). Among the infections that pre-ceded the AGN, 21(40%) children had skin infection, 17 (35%) had sore throat and 12 (25%) had no infection (χ2 = 0.03 P = 0.98). The presenting symptoms are shown in Table-1, Edema, oliguria and hematuria are seen in all patients (χ2 = 0.22 P = 0.89). Vomiting and abdominal pain were seen in 25% of the cases (χ2 = 0.08 P = 0.77). Cough was seen in 12% (Z = 0.47 < 1.96) and altered sensorium in 2% of cases (Z = 0.97 < 1.96). Table-2 shows the pre-sented Signs. In 80% of the cases which had hypertension were also associated with edema (Z = 0.70 < 1.96). Pallor is seen in 22% of cases Z = 0.35 < 1.96. CCF, hepa-tomegaly and cardiomegaly are seen in 6% of cases Z = 0.32, Z = 0.32, Z = 0.97 < 1.96. Out of 29 cases of severe hypertensive children two cases were associated with con-gestive cardiac failure. One normotensive child had congestive cardiac failure. The co-variation between blood urea and serum creatinine is 5.32 which was significant with r = 0.58. Macroscopic hematuria was present in 92% of the cases and microscopic hematuria is present in 100% of the cases. The urine albumin level 1+, 2+, and 3+ is present in the ratio 6:3:1. χ2 = 0.49, p = 0.7788. 76% of the children who had ASO titre of > 200 IU was found to precedes the infection. Chest x-ray showed only 3 cases had cardiomegaly with features of pulmonary edema. Cases were admitted for an average of 9 days du-ration. No death occurred due to AGN in the present study period.

Table 1: Presenting Symptoms

Sl.No Symptoms No. of cases Percentage
1 Edema 50 100
2 Oliguria 46 92
3 Hematuria (Macro) 46 92
4 Vomiting 13 26
5 Abdominal Pain 12 24
6 Cough 6 12
7 Fever 3 6
8 Head ache 3 6
9 Breathlessness 3 6
10 Convulsion 2 4
11 Altered sen-sorium 1 2

Table 2: Presented Signs

Sl No Signs No. of Cases Percentage
1 Edema 42 94
2 Hyper tension 40 80
3 Pallor 11 22
4 CCF 3 6
5 Hepatomegaly 3 6
6 Ascites 1 2
7 Cardiomegaly 3 6


Acute glomerulonephritis is one of the common renal dis-eases in children. The course and sequale of an individual patient is unpredictable. In the present study, there were 50 cases of acute glomerulonephritis admitted over a pe-riod of one year. The signs and symptoms have been ana-lyzed and an attempt has been made to correlate them with the severity of the disease and clinical and investiga-tional abnormalities. The occurrence of acute glomeru-lonephritis in the present study is 1.23 % of the total pedi-atric admissions. In the present study the average age is about 7.5 years. Derakhshan and Hekmat [11] report an average age of 8.5 years while Etuk [4] et al reports 7.2 years.

In the present study males were 56% while females were 44% which was similar to majority of series that reported male predominance in disease occurrence [4]. The differ-ence in ratio is difficult to explain as susceptibility to streptococcal infection is apparently not gender related. In the present study the maximum admissions were made during the months of June – September (Rainy Season) comprising 44% of the cases, signifying the effect of cli-mate in disease occurrence. Becquet [12] et al reported similar observation.

History of preceding infection was present in 76% of the cases. The incidence of skin infection (42%) was more than the incidence of Respiratory infection (34%). Com-mon sign as well as symptom in the presented was edema. Derakhshan and Hekmat [11] noted skin infection in 78%, hypertension 75% and sore throat 4% of cases. Hyperten-sion of variable degrees was present in 82% of patients in the present study. In the present study out of three cases of CCF two cases were associated with severe hyperten-sion and one case had no hypertension, which shows that hypertension is the only factor in the production of CCF. The cardiac insufficiency could also be due to contribu-tory factors like hypervolemia secondary to salt and water retention and generalized vasospasm producing hypoxia of myocardial cells [7]. Both proteinuria and hematuria were the most consistent urinary findings found in all the cases in the present study. In the present study there was no difference in clinical presentation and progress of the disease in those with gross hematuria and those with mi-croscopic haematuria. In the present study blood urea was significantly high in 10 cases (20%). Serum creatinine values were elevated in 13 cases (26%). Blood urea ni-trogen level is proportionately elevated in relation to the serum creatinine level. Hyponatremia in acute phase of AGN is due to haemodilution. In the present study three patients who showed features of pulmonary edema and cardiomegaly. Pulmonary changes did not bear any rela-tion to proteinuria or blood urea. Clearence of X-ray find-ings coincided with diuresis and disappearance of edema. In patients with moderate-to-severe AGN, a measurable reduction in volume of glomerular filtrate (GF) is present, and the capacity to excrete salt and water is usually di-minished, leading to expansion of the extracellular fluid (ECF) volume. The expanded ECF volume is responsible for edema and, in part, for hypertension [2]. ASO titre was raised in 64% of the cases in the present study. Derakhshan and Hekmat [11] reported elevated ASO in 84% cases.A slight increase in ASO response was noted in patients with skin infections than with sore throat.

Out of 50 cases studied, there was no death in the present study. Average duration of hospital stay was 7 days. Pa-tients with complications needed more time to recover, but all the patients recovered completely with out any sequale.


In conclusion edema, proteinuria and hematuria were the consistent features. Hypertension and congestive cardiac failure was important in assessing the prognosis. Serum urea and creatinine levels indicated the renal damage and moni-toring of which helps in assessing prognosis. ASO titre and ESR were non specific.


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Corresponding address
Kumar. G.V.

Department of Paediatrics
Sri Siddhartha Medical College,
Tumkur 572107, Karnataka, India

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