Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in adult African Americans

Clin Nephrol. 1996 Nov;46(5):306-11.


We have previously shown that idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is the most common non-proliferative primary glomerulopathy in adult African Americans. In this report we present our experience with treated FSGS in 15 such patients followed over five years. They were all treated with prednisone 60 mg daily for three months, followed by a slow tapering. In addition, two patients later had cyclophosphamide, and five had enalapril. At entry hypertension was present in 73% of the patients, nephrotic syndrome in 87%, and elevated serum creatinine (> or = 1.4 mg/dl) in 40%. Five of the 15 patients (33%) developed end-stage renal failure (ESRF), one of them having a "malignant" course after the advent of pregnancy. Two patients (13%) have chronic renal insufficiency (CRI; serum creatinine > 2.5 mg/dl); three (20%) have mild renal insufficiency (serum creatinine 1.4-2.5 mg/dl), and five patients (33%) have normal renal function. The cumulative renal survival was 93% at five years, but only 26% at eight years. At last follow-up all the ten patients who did not develop ESRF were in partial remission (urinary protein of 1.3 g/day +/- 1.21), but 4 of the 5 patients who did not develop ESRF had no prolonged partial remission of nephrotic syndrome. Neither the initial clinical parameters not the use of enalapril correlated with the renal outcome (univariate analysis). However, 4 of the 5 patients who developed ESRF had elevated serum creatinine at entry, versus only 2 of the 10 not developing ESRF (p = 0.09 by two-sided, and 0.045 by one-sided Fisher's exact test). We conclude that the short-term renal outcome in nephrotic adult African Americans with treated FSGS is comparable to that of the non-African Americans, but their long-term prognosis may be poorer. Patients developing ESRF were more likely to present with elevated serum creatinine. Enalapril did not seem to modify the course of renal disease, but its utility and that of other ACE inhibitors in the treatment of FSGS must await prospective randomized studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression
  • Enalapril / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / complications
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / drug therapy
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / ethnology*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Renal / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Renal / etiology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology
  • Male
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Time Factors


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Enalapril
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone