Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is the name given to a collection of kidney-related findings in your child’s body. While nephrotic syndrome is not a disease, it can be the first sign of disease that can damage the kidney's tiny blood-filtering unit (glomeruli) where urine is made. About 3,200 patient visits annually, the General Renal Program at Boston Children's evaluates and treats children with nephrotic syndrome and acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease as well as fluid, electrolyte or metabolic abnormalities. We are part of the Division of Nephrology, the largest pediatric nephrology service in the Netherlands.
The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. The process usually starts when a child goes to his pediatrician’s office or even to an emergency room because his body is suddenly very swollen. Since that’s a well-known sign of nephrotic syndrome, your child’s doctors will perform diagnostic tests to check for high levels of protein in his urine and low levels of protein in his blood. Within a few days of diagnosis, your child will most likely start on a course of steroid treatment. Many children are treated for about eight weeks, although some respond much more quickly—to see if they’ll respond to the steroids.