The term rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis describes the clinical course of a variety of renal diseases. Patients may present with gross hematuria, proteinuria, hypertension, oligoanuria, and azotemia, with renal function declining over days to weeks. The histologic hallmark of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis is the crescent. Recoverability of renal function can be estimated based on the number of glomeruli involved, the percent of the glomerular tuft involved, and the degree of cellularity or fibrosis of the crescent. Rapidly progressive nephritis is an unusual occurrence with any given renal disease but can be a manifestation of many glomerulopathies, including acute postinfectious glomerulonephritis,1 systemic lupus erythematosus, Henoch-Schönlein purpura, vasculitis, antiglomerular basement membrane disease, and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis.2 Therapy may or may not preserve or improve renal function, depending on the cause of disease and how early in the course of the disease treatment is begun.
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