Granulomatous interstitial nephritis (NIG) is a rare form of interstitial nephritis that can be related to acute or chronic clinical presentation. NIG is characterized by granulomas located to the renal interstitium and composed of either epithelioid histiocytes with giant cells and/or of foreign body reaction. The symptoms are unspecific and associate varying degrees of renal failure with abnormal urinanalysis. Extra-renal signs may point to systemic disease. Pathological examination from kidney percutaneous biopsy or surgical resection is required to assert NIG diagnosis and to guide the etiological research. The main causes of NIG are sarcoidosis, drug reactions, mycobacterial infections and crystalline nephropathies. Sarcoidosis is characterized by non-necrotic and well-formed giant cell epithelioid interstitial granulomas. Drug reactions have less well-defined granulomas with inconstant eosinophils. The presence of caseous necrosis within giant cell and epithelioid granulomas leads to infectious NIG diagnosis (tuberculosis and fungal infection). Identification of crystals within foreign body reaction can be improved by polarized light study. Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis and malakoplakia are rarer causes of NIG characterized by patches of histiocytes associated with inconstant giant cells. Differential diagnoses of NIG are represented by granulomatous reactions centered on glomeruli and vessels (vasculitis and emboli of cholesterol crystals). Less than 10% of NIG are idiopathic. The prognosis and the treatment vary according to the cause. The factors of poor renal prognosis are chronic irreversible tubulo-interstitial injury (tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis). Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.