Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is scar tissue that forms in parts of the kidney called glomeruli. The glomeruli serve as filters, helping rid the body of unnecessary or harmful substances. Each kidney has thousands of glomeruli. One glomeruli is called a glomerulus.
"Focal" means that some of the glomeruli become scarred, while others remain normal. "Segmental" means that only part of an individual glomerulus is damaged.
The cause of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is usually unknown. A small number of cases result from reflux nephropathy. The condition affects both children and adults. Men and boys are affected slightly more often than women and girls, and it also occurs more frequently in African-Americans. There are also rare, inherited forms of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis causes about 10 - 15% of all cases of nephrotic syndrome.
- Foamy urine
- Poor appetite
- Swelling of the body, called generalized edema, from retained fluids
- Weight gain
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will perform and physicla examination. This condition is diagnosed based on edema and elevated blood pressure. Signs of kidney (renal) failure and associated fluid overload may develop as the condition gets worse.
Tests may include:
- Immunofluorescence microscopy test
- Kidney biopsy
Some patients will receive high doses of corticosteroids or a drug called cyclosporine. It is not clear, however, whether these drugs can prevent the kidneys from eventually failing.
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