We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Renal Parenchymal Disease?

By Maggie J. Hall
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Renal parenchymal disease includes maladies that damage the outermost internal region of the kidney where filtration and urine formation occur. Autoimmune disorders, medical conditions, or obstructions may all contribute to this disease. Lupus, bacterial infections, diabetes and high blood pressure, along with kidney stones can traumatize delicate tissue, causing scarring and possibly leading to eventual kidney failure. Managing systemic disease processes, however, may prevent kidney damage and failure from occurring.

Millions of nephrons lie within the renal parenchymal area of each kidney. The nephrons contain arterioles, or small blood vessels, known as glomeruli, that are surrounded by tubules. The glomeruli receive oxygen rich blood that contain excess electrolytes, salts, and water and transport the unnecessary blood products and water to the renal tubules. The tubules pass through the renal medulla, or the center of the kidney, into another system of tubules that combine and empty into the ureter.

Studies estimate that up to 50% of patients diagnosed with lupus erythematosus experience a renal parenchymal disease known as lupus nephritis. Lupus causes abnormal antibody production in the body, and these malfunctioning antibodies attack healthy cells, including those within the nephrons. The kidney's normal filtering processes are diminished when cell damage in the parenchymal tissue occurs. The disease might also produce inflammation of the kidney, adding pressure to damaged glomeruli.

Symptoms of lupus nephritis include swelling in the feet, legs, and around the eyes. Patients may excrete urine that appears foamy or bloody. Inadequate filtering and excess fluid also cause increased blood pressure. Blood tests evaluate the efficiency of the filtering process and ultrasound imaging reveals abnormal kidney tissue. Treatment may include glucocorticoids and chemotherapeutic agents to reduce overall inflammation.

Uncontrolled diabetes may eventually lead to renal parenchymal disease and subsequent kidney failure. The flood of sugar-laden blood in the glomeruli puts increased stress on the filtering system and increases pressure within the delicate arterioles. The strain of continuously ridding the body of sugar diminishes filtering ability and eventually causes permanent damage. Protein spills into the urine instead of staying in the blood and sugar also enters the urine. Renal insufficiency contributes to hypertension, but hypertension can also cause renal problems.

Excess body fluids trigger renin/angiotensin release and subsequent response from the sympathetic nervous system to constrict blood vessels, forcing more blood to the kidneys. Renal parenchymal disease takes place when this constriction forces fluid through fragile glomeruli and other capillaries, causing cellular damage to vessel linings. During the reparative process, scarring occurs, and vessels become thickened and stiff. Without a permeable surface, glomeruli filtration is diminished.

Cellular and tissue damage can also occur when an patient has kidney stones. Uric acid and calcium crystals combine with oxalate to form stones of various sizes and shapes. Bacterial infections initiate increased enzyme, ammonia, and other chemical production, which may produce a by-product known as struvite stones. Besides inflammation and swelling, which contribute to decreased filtration, the foreign objects may tear vessels and tissues. Scar tissue forms, inhibiting proper kidney function and contributing to renal parenchymal disease.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.