Nephrotic syndrome following COVID-19 vaccination: a systematic review

J Nephrol. 2023 Dec;36(9):2431-2440. doi: 10.1007/s40620-023-01710-z. Epub 2023 Jul 28.


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection has caused significant morbidity and mortality. Vaccines produced against this virus have proven highly effective. However, adverse events following vaccination have also been reported. One of them is nephrotic syndrome, that can be associated with different pathologic pictures. This review aims to provide a wider understanding of incidence, etiopathogenesis, and management of nephrotic syndrome following vaccination against SARS-CoV-2.

Methods and results: A literature search was undertaken using appropriate keywords in various databases like PubMed, Google Scholar, Europe PMC, and Science Direct. Twenty-one articles were included following qualitative assessment. Data of 74 patients from these articles were included.

Discussion: The pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome following COVID vaccination has been widely attributed to the activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptors, leading to podocyte effacement. Relapses have also been reported in patients with prior history of nephrotic syndrome following COVID-19 vaccination. A renal biopsy is necessary to identify the histopathological picture. Management of COVID-19 vaccine-induced nephrotic syndrome was mainly reported as successfully attainable with corticosteroids and supportive management.

Conclusion: Further investigations will help in establishing an early diagnosis and salvaging kidney function.

Keywords: COVID-19; Nephrotic syndrome; Systematic review; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Nephrotic Syndrome* / etiology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines