Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is scar tissue in the filtering unit of the kidney. This structure is called the glomerulus. The glomeruli serve as filters that help the body get harmful substances. Each kidney has thousands of glomeruli.
"Focal" means that some of the glomeruli become scarred. Others remain normal. "Segmental" means that only part of an individual glomerulus is damaged.
The cause of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is often unknown.
The condition affects both children and adults. It occurs slightly more often in men and boys. It is also more common in African Americans. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis causes up to a quarter of all cases of nephrotic syndrome.
Known causes include:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. This exam may show issue swelling (edema) and high blood pressure. Signs of kidney (renal) failure and excess fluid may develop as the condition gets worse.
Tests may include:
Treatments may include:
The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms of nephrotic syndrome and prevent chronic kidney failure.
In general, treatments may include:
More than half of those with focal or segmental glomerulosclerosis develop chronic kidney failure within 10 years.
Call your doctor if you develop symptoms of this condition, especially if there is:
No prevention is known.
Segmental glomerulosclerosis; Focal sclerosis with hyalinosis
Appel GB, Radhakrishnan J. Glomerular disorders and nephrotic syndromes. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 123.
Nachman PH, Jennette JC, Falk RJ. Primary glomerular disease. In: Taal MW, Chertow GM, Marsden PA et al. eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 31.
Korbet S. Treatment of Primary FSGS in Adults. JASN. 2012;23(11):1769-1776.
Updated by: Melissa B Bleicher, MD, Division of Renal, Electrolyte, and Hypertension, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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