[Choosing the right treatment approach in focal and segmental glomerular sclerosis with chronic renal failure]

G Ital Nefrol. Nov-Dec 2008;25 Suppl 44:S88-S98.
[Article in Italian]


Focal and segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS) is a heterogeneous disease from a clinical, etiological and clinical point of view. FSGS may be idiopathic, usually associated with nephrotic syndrome, which requires an ''etiological'' treatment approach. In addition, hereditary and secondary forms of FSGS have been described. The response to therapy, including steroids, cytotoxic drugs and calcineurin inhibitors, is considered the best clinical indicator of outcome. Many uncertainties exist regarding the best therapeutic approach to FSGS in patients presenting with chronic renal failure. In this setting, before planning any treatment, the physician should always assess the presence of superimposed functional renal insufficiency and evaluate the severity of the renal impairment, the histological picture, previous immunosuppressive treatments, and the individual patient's risk for side effects. Keeping in mind these considerations and in the absence of appropriate studies, we can formulate the following suggestions: 1. there is no absolute contraindication to the use of full-dose prednisone as initial therapy, although the likelihood of a good response is low; 2. the use of cytotoxic drugs is not recommended unless the patient presents with a steroid-responsive form of the disease; 3. in patients with a glomerular filtration rate of less than 40 mL/min, the use of calcineurin inhibitors should be avoided.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Calcineurin Inhibitors*
  • Cytotoxins / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / complications
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / diagnosis
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / drug therapy*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Cytotoxins
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents