Definition Renal Parenchyma: What is it?



The renal parenchymal disease includes diseases that damage the innermost region of the kidney where leakage of urine occurs. Autoimmune disorders, medical conditions, or obstructions can contribute to this disease. Lupus, bacterial infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney stones can affect delicate tissues, causing scarring and possibly leading to end-stage renal failure.

Millions of nephrons are found within the renal parenchyma zone of each kidney. The nephrons contain arterioles or small blood vessels called glomeruli, surrounded by tubules. The glomeruli receive oxygen-rich blood that contains excess electrolytes, salts, water, and the transport of blood products and the necessary 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 called lupus nephritis. Lupus causes the production of abnormal antibodies in the body, and malfunctions of these antibodies attack healthy cells, including those of the nephrons. The normal filtration processes of the kidneys decrease when cellular damage occurs in the parenchyma tissue. The disease can also cause inflammation of the kidney, adding pressure to damaged glomeruli.

Symptoms of lupus nephritis include inflammation of the feet, legs, and around the eyes.

Treatment may include glucocorticoids and chemotherapeutic agents to reduce inflammation in general.

Uncontrolled diabetes can eventually lead to kidney parenchymal disease and subsequent renal failure. High levels of sugar in the blood loaded with glomeruli increases the tension in the filtration system and increase the pressure inside the delicate arterioles. The strain of continuously releasing the body of sugar decreases filtering ability and eventually causes permanent damage. The protein is poured into the urine instead of remaining in the blood, and the sugar also enters the urine.

It can also cause cell and tissue damage when a patient has kidney stones. Uric acid and calcium crystals combine with oxalate to form stones of various sizes and shapes, contributing to kidney parenchymal disease.