The commonest cause of nephrotic syndrome in children and an important cause of this syndrome in adults. The condition is so named because of the apparent lack of abnormalities seen on light microscopy of biopsy samples. Changes can, however, be seen on electron microscopy, with effacement of the podocyte foot processes along the glomerular basement membrane. It is postulated that minimal change disease is a T-cell disease and that cytokine damage to the podocytes leads to loss of the selective filtering characteristics of the glomerulus. The condition usually responds to corticosteroids and has a good prognosis, but there is clinical overlap with primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which may have similar histological appearances in its early stages, tends not to respond to steroids, and is associated with a poor renal prognosis.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.