Most children do not need special treatment but need lots of rest. Some children need treatments – for pain, complications or kidney problems – which are explained below. If another health condition is causing PIGN, this may need special treatment, too.

It is important that your child follows any treatment plan outlined by your doctor.

Where will my child be treated?

Hospital stay

Your child will probably need to be admitted to hospital for a few days. He or she will be looked after by a paediatrician, a children’s doctor.


Your child can go home when the doctor thinks that his or her health is stable. Often, your child will need to visit the hospital clinic during the day – as an outpatient – for check ups or more treatment.

Referral to specialist services

Some children are referred to a paediatric renal unit, a specialised unit that treats babies, children and young people with kidney conditions and may be in a different hospital to your own. These children will be looked after by a paediatric nephrologist, a doctor who treats children with kidney problems.

This is usually if they have complications from the PIGN, such as:

  • severe oedema (swelling in the body), especially if it is around the lungs or causing breathlessness
  • very high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • kidneys that are not working well – in serious cases, the kidneys stop working; this is called acute kidney injury.

Read more about your child’s healthcare team and what happens in hospital

What happens in hospital

A team of healthcare professionals will:

  • check your child’s kidney function (how well his or her kidneys are working)
  • measure how much your child is drinking and how much urine he or she is passing
  • test your child’s urine with a dipstick
  • check your child’s blood pressure
  • weigh your child to help find out if he or she has too much or too little fluid in their body.

Healthcare team

Your child’s healthcare team may include:

  • paediatric nephrologist – a doctor who treats children with kidney problems
  • radiologist – a healthcare professional who uses imaging tests to help identify a condition
  • renal nurse – a nurse who cares for children with kidney problems
  • renal dietitian – a professional who advises what your child should eat and drink during different stages of a kidney condition
  • renal social worker – a professional who supports you and your family, especially with any concerns about money, travel and housing related to looking after your child with kidney disease
  • renal psychologist – a healthcare professional who supports your child and family, especially with emotional stresses and strains from having or look after a child with kidney disease
  • play specialist – a professional who uses dolls and other toys to help your child prepare for procedures, such as blood tests and dialysis

Changes to eating and drinking

Your child may need to make temporary changes to what he or she eats – for example, less salt and less of certain foods. He or she may also need to drink less fluid, such as water, squash and soft drinks.

Your doctor, nurse or a paediatric dietitian will help you and your child make these changes.

Treating the infection

Most children do not need special treatment. To relieve pain, your child may take medicines such as paracetamol.

Do not give your child ibuprofen as it can cause further damage to his or her kidneys.

Antibiotics are medicines that kill harmful bacteria in order to get rid of or prevent an infection that is caused by bacteria. Your child may need to take antibiotics to treat the infection that caused the PIGN.

If your child is prescribed an antibiotic, it is vital that he or she completes the course. Your child must take the medicine for the number of days that the doctor has told you, or until all the medicine has been taken.

Medicines for Children website | General advice about antibiotics

Controlling blood pressure

If your child has high blood pressure (hypertension), he or she may need to eat a no added salt diet, and may need medicines, to control the blood pressure.

Reducing swelling in the body – diuretics

Some children with PIGN need to take diuretics, medicines that help reduce oedema (swelling in the body). Diuretics work on the kidneys to increase the amount of water and salt they remove from the body in urine.

If your child is taking diuretics, he or she will need to go to follow-up appointments. Your doctor will examine your child for oedema and measure his or her weight. This helps find out how well the medicine is working.

Common diuretics are: furosemide, spironolactone and metolazone. Some of the other diuretics that may be used are: amiloride, bendroflumethiazide and chlorothiazide.

Reduced kidney function

Some children with PIGN develop reduced kidney function – their kidneys do not work as well as they should. Most do not need any special treatment, and their kidney function will return to normal.

A very small number will have more serious kidney problems and will need further treatment. Dialysis uses special equipment or a machine to ‘clean’ the blood, removing waste products and extra water and salts.

Your child’s healthcare team will give you information to help make sure your child has the best type of dialysis.

Questions to ask the doctor or nurse

  • What treatment does my child need?
  • How will the treatment help my child?
  • How can I help my child prepare for procedures and treatments?
  • If the first treatment does not work in my child, what happens next?
  • How will I know if we need to go back to the hospital or see the doctor?
  • Will the PIGN come back? How will I know?

Your doctor will speak with you about how PIGN might affect your child in the future.

Most children fully recover from this disease, and it does not come back. Although some children will need to take medicines when they first develop PIGN, most will not need to continue taking medicines.

A very small number of children will have long-term kidney problems, but this is rare.

Follow up

All children with PIGN need follow-up appointments at the hospital or clinic, to check for any health problems. These may continue for a while, depending on the severity of the illness.

It is important to go to these appointments, even if your child seems well. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions. At these appointments, your child may have:

  • his or her height and weight checked
  • a physical examination
  • urine tests – to check for blood, protein and other substances in his or her urine
  • blood tests – to check for the amount of protein and other substances in his or her blood, and measure his or her kidney function
  • his or her blood pressure measured.

Long-term effects


Most children fully recover from this disease, and it does not come back. Though some children will need to take medicines when they first develop PIGN, most will not need to continue taking medicines.

Long-term problems

A very small number of children will have long-term kidney problems, but this is rare.

If your child needed dialysis, or if his or her kidney function does not return to normal, he or she will need long-term follow up to check for any health problems. Your doctor will give you more information.

Impact on your child and your family

Children who have been successfully treated for PIGN can do all the things that other children their age do. They can continue going to school or nursery, play with other children and stay active.

Living healthily

Your child can help protect his or her kidneys by leading a healthy lifestyle through his or her child and adult years. 

  • eating a healthy diet – with at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, taking care not to eat too much salt, sugar and fats (especially saturated fats)
  • getting plenty of exercise
  • not smoking.

Further support

This can be a difficult and stressful experience for your child and the whole family, including other children.

If you have any concerns or need additional support, speak with your doctor or nurse.