Angiotensin antagonists and steroids in the treatment of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Semin Nephrol. 2003 Mar;23(2):219-28. doi: 10.1053/snep.2003.50020.


The use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) along with good blood pressure control have been shown to significantly decrease the level of proteinuria and slow the progression of renal insufficiency in patients with nondiabetic glomerular disease including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Thus, this should be part of the therapeutic approach for all proteinuric patients with FSGS and should be considered the mainstay of therapy for patients with FSGS secondary to conditions associated with hyperfiltration and/or reduced nephron mass and those patients with nonnephrotic primary FSGS. However, nephrotic patients with primary FSGS may continue to have marked proteinuria and progression of renal disease despite these measures and thus require a more aggressive approach with the use of steroids and immunosuppressive agents. Although primary FSGS was once thought to be a steroid-nonresponsive lesion, recent experience has provided a note of optimism in the use of steroids and immunosuppressive agents in treating this otherwise progressive glomerulopathy. As a result, a course of steroid therapy in primary FSGS is now warranted in nephrotic patients with reasonably well preserved renal function in whom it is not otherwise contraindicated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Progression
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / diagnosis
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / drug therapy*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / etiology
  • Humans
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Nephrons / physiopathology
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Steroids / therapeutic use*


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Steroids
  • Methylprednisolone