Medical Definition of Minimal-change nephrotic syndrome
A disorder of the kidneys which largely affects the glomerulus, the blood filtering structure.
This disorder is one common cause of nephrotic syndrome, minimal glomerular changes, in children affecting 2 to 3 children per 100,000 population under age 16 in the USA. Minimal change disease is also seen rarely in adults. The cause is unknown but may be related to an autoimmune illness.
It is marked by oedema, albuminuria, and an increase in cholesterol in the blood, but otherwise with fairly good renal function. Tubular epithelium is vacuolated by cholesterol droplets, but the glomeruli show only that the foot processes of the glomerular epithelial cells are fused, probably secondary to the proteinuria; the cause of the increased glomerular permeability to plasma protein is unknown.
Risk factors include a history for a immune disorder, recent immunisation or a bee sting.
Diagnosis is made by renal biopsy.
Treatment include systemic corticosteroids which are usually quite effective in curing this disease. Other medications include chlorambucil and cyclophosphamide. In most cases, a moderate protein diet (1 gram protein per Kg body weight per day) will be recommended. Salt (sodium) restriction can be helpful to reduce swelling and vitamin D is usually supplemented.
Synonym: lipoid nephrosis
(27 Sep 1997)
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