Focal glomerular sclerosis: contrasting clinical patterns in children and adults

Medicine (Baltimore). 1976 Jan;55(1):67-87. doi: 10.1097/00005792-197601000-00004.


In a retrospective clinicopathological study, 48 kidney biopsy specimens from 16 children (mean age, 7 years) and 17 adults (mean age, 33 years) with histological evidence of focal glomerular sclerosis (FGS) were examined using light, immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. The histopathological findings were related to the clinical course of each patient. At the clinical onset of the disease, the nephrotic syndrome was seen more commonly in children (12/16) than adults (7/17), while the incidence of both hypertension (children 1/16 versus adults, 9/17) and renal insufficiency (children, 0/16 versus adults, 7/17) was greater in adults. Despite a shorter average follow-up, (adults 3 10/12 years versus children, 7 years), the incidence of hypertension (adults, 13/17 versus children, 7/16) and renal functional impairment (adults, 13/17 versus children, 3/16) remained greater in the adult patients. One child and three adults died in renal failure while two adults underwent transplantation and on requires regular dialysis therapy. Nine of 15 pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids experienced partial or complete remission in either their nephrotic syndrome or level of urine protein excretion, while just 3 of 6 adult patients treated with corticosteroids experienced a partial remission, but never became protein-free. There was an excellent correlation in all patients between the degree of functional renal impairment and the extent of glomerular and nonglomerular histopathological damage in the kidney. It is concluded that in the adults, FGS represents a more severe and progressive disease process and is less responsive to therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Kidney Glomerulus* / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology
  • Proteinuria / etiology
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Sclerosis


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones