Nephrotic syndrome is not a disease; it is the manifestation of a wide variety of underlying disease processes.
The aim of the present study was to investigate different clinic-laboratory and histological patterns of nephrotic syndrome and the relationship between its clinical character and prognosis. Methods
From January 2010 to December 2011 the authors of the present study retrospectively and prospectively studied 139 patients with nephrotic syndrome, diagnosed on the basis of heavy proteinuria greater than 3 g/day, hypoalbuminemia, evidence of fluid retention or edema, and hyperlipidemia.
A total of 139 patients (M : F = 79 : 60) were included in the present study; their mean age was 33.9 ± 13.47 years (primary : secondary nephrotic syndrome = 80 : 59). Systemic lupus erythematosus was the most common underlying cause of secondary nephrotic syndrome [24 cases (40.7%)], followed by DM [13 cases (23.7%)]. Renal biopsy revealed 18 patients (30.5%) with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, 15 (25.43%) with membranous nephropathy, seven (11.86%) with mesangia! proliferative glomerulonephritis, six (10.16%) with amyloidosis, five (8.47%) with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, three (5.08%) with diffuse proliferative glomerulonephritis, one (1.69%) with focal proliferative, minimal mesangial, sclerosing glomerulonephritides. one patient (1.69%) with crescent glomerulonephritis, and another one (1.69%) with IgA nephropathy. A raised serum creatinine level was found in 49 (35%) patients, and 35 (74,4%) of them had normal renal function at the last follow-up. Complete remission of proteinuria occurred in 69 (49.6%) patients, partial remission in 53 (38.1%), and resistant proteinuria in 17 (12.2%).
Clinical features and biochemical values do not give many clues about the underlying histological types of glomerulonephritis. Therefore, renal biopsy should be carried out in all patients with adult nephrotic syndrome, as results permit us to establish a specific diagnosis, which helps in counseling the patients about the likely prognosis of their disease and to select a specific therapeutic regimen.