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Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Contents of this page:


Male urinary system
Male urinary system

Alternative Names    Return to top

Segmental glomerulosclerosis; Focal sclerosis with hyalinosis

Definition    Return to top

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is scar tissue that forms in areas of the kidney that filter certain things out of the body. These areas are called glomeruli. They help the body get rid of harmful or unnecessary substances. Each kidney has thousands of glomeruli.

"Focal" means that some of the glomeruli become scarred, while others remain normal. "Segmental" means that only part of an individual glomerulus is damaged.

Causes    Return to top

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. Males are affected slightly more often than females, and it also occurs more frequently in African-Americans.

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis causes about 10 - 15% of all cases of nephrotic syndrome.

Symptoms    Return to top

Exams and Tests    Return to top

There are no strong clues to the diagnosis on physical examination, other than evidence of edema and elevated blood pressure. Signs of kidney renal failure and associated fluid overload may develop as the illness gets worse.

Tests may include:

Treatment    Return to top

The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms associated with nephrotic syndrome and chronic kidney failure.

See also:

In general, treatments may include:

See also: Kidney disease - diet

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

Over half of all persons with focal or segmental glomerulosclerosis develop chronic kidney failure within 10 years.

Possible Complications    Return to top

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

You should call your doctor if symptoms develop, especially if there is fever, pain with urination, or decreased urine output.

Prevention    Return to top

No prevention is known.

Update Date: 5/15/2007

Updated by: Robert Mushnick, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Nephrology, SUNY Downstate Health Center, Brooklyn, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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