Minimal change disease

Alternative Names

Minimal change nephrotic syndrome; Nil disease; Lipoid nephrosis; Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome of childhood

Definition of Minimal change disease

Minimal change disease is a kidney disorder that can lead to , although the nephrons of the kidney look normal under a regular microscope.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Each kidney is made of more than a million units called nephrons, which filter blood and produce urine.

Symptoms

There may be symptoms of nephrotic syndrome:

Signs and tests

The doctor may not be able to see any obvious outward signs of the disease, other than swelling. Blood and urine tests reveal signs typical of nephrotic syndrome, including:

Treatment

Corticosteroids can cure minimal change disease in most children. Some patients may need to stay on steroids to keep the disease in remission.

Expectations (prognosis)

Minimal change disease usually responds well to corticosteroids, often within the first month. A relapse can occur, but patients may improve after prolonged treatment with corticosteroids and medications that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressive medications).

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Herbert Y. Lin, MD, PHD, Nephrologist, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/30/2009

Male urinary system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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