Nephrotic and nephritic syndrome in the newborn

Clin Perinatol. 2014 Sep;41(3):605-18. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2014.05.009. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Glomerular disorders in infancy can include nephrotic and nephritic syndromes. Congenital nephrotic syndrome (CNS) is most commonly caused by single gene mutations in kidney proteins, but may also be due to congenital infections or passive transfer of maternal antibodies that target kidney proteins. Prenatal findings of increased maternal serum α-fetoprotein and enlarged placenta suggest CNS. Neonatal nephritis is rare; its causes may overlap with those of CNS and include primary glomerulonephritis, systemic disease, infections, and transplacental transfer of maternal antibodies. These syndromes in the neonate can cause significant morbidity and mortality, making urgent diagnosis and treatment necessary.

Keywords: Congenital nephrotic syndrome; Diffuse mesangial sclerosis; Hematuria; Hemolytic uremic syndrome; Neonatal lupus; Nephritis; Proteinuria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Glomerulonephritis* / congenital
  • Glomerulonephritis* / diagnosis
  • Glomerulonephritis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Nephrotic Syndrome* / genetics
  • Nephrotic Syndrome* / therapy
  • Prognosis

Supplementary concepts

  • Nephrosis, congenital