Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Pediatr Nephrol. 1996 Jun;10(3):374-91. doi: 10.1007/BF00866790.


Over the last 2 decades, we have learnt that focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a ubiquitous phenomenon underlying the progressive deterioration of many different types of renal diseases in both pediatric and adult populations. FSGS may also be the primary renal lesion, whether in new disease entities such as glycogen storage disease and human immunodeficiency virus infection, or in idiopathic FSGS. Although the mechanism which triggers the development of primary FSGS still remains unknown, laboratory and clinical studies have identified several key pathophysiological events leading to end-stage renal disease. While therapeutic modalities have not changed remarkably, a recent study, although uncontrolled, demonstrated an impressive efficacy of intravenous steroid pulse therapy in inducing remission. Nevertheless, it remains largely unknown whether such a forced remission decreases the overall risk of developing chronic renal failure. Studies have revealed an important pathophysiological role of angiotensin and the therapeutic efficacy of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in progressive loss of renal function in diseases where glomerulosclerosis is secondary; however, it remains to be verified whether these results hold true in primary FSGS. As a result of the improvement in allograft survival rate, the benefit of renal transplant outweighs the risk of recurrence of FSGS, hence transplantation continues to be a vital therapy for FSGS patients who have reached renal failure. Thus, FSGS is not one disease, but rather a range of lesions seen in many settings. The type of lesions and the patient's unique genetic factors contribute to prognosis, and also may dictate choice of optimum therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / etiology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / pathology*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / therapy
  • Humans