Article

Headache of Renal origin

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Abstract

Headache of renal origin is associated with toxic absorption from an inflamed kidney, it is secondary to an accumulation of waste products due to renal failure, or it may be the result of mechanical changes in circulation following a renal lesion. At some time during the course of disease of the kidney, headache was an outstanding symptom in approximately one-third of our cases.

In acute hemorrhagic Bright's disease, headache commonly accompanies the fever, as is true in the presence of fever from any cause. In this instance, it probably is caused by meningeal irritation which is a result of the toxic products of disturbed metabolic processes. Such headache usually is generalized and dull. In severe cases where marked elevation of blood pressure accompanies the renal lesion, severe throbbing headache may result from increased pressure within the cranium which accompanies the general increase in arterial tension. Such headache may be localized, and it may be increased by effort or a dependent position of the head. Occasionally headache in the presence of acute nephritis is the result of secondary anemia and consequent inanition of the brain, although in the initial stages of renal disease, anemia seldom advances to a stage in which this occurs.

In the active, chronic and terminal phases of hemorrhagic Bright's disease, headache is a common finding and may be one of the early symptoms which induces the patient to consult his physician. In these patients, it may be accompanied by vertigo, anorexia, nocturia, polyuria, edema of the extremities. . .


 

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