Author(s): Mendoza SA, Tune BM
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Abstract This review examines selected aspects of the treatment of the nephrotic syndrome in children. Particular attention has been paid to two groups of nephrotic children. First, children with steroid-responsive nephrotic syndrome are discussed. Recently, a series of controlled studies have provided important information regarding the optimal duration of steroid therapy. Initial episodes of the nephrotic syndrome are best treated with "long" courses of prednisone therapy (6 wk of high-dose daily prednisone followed by 6 wk of alternate-day prednisone). In contrast, relapses do as well with "short" courses (about 2 wk of daily prednisone and 2 wk of alternate-day therapy). Some children who are steroid responsive require high doses of prednisone to remain in remission. These patients may require alkylating agent therapy. The most common cause of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome is focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Over the past 10 yr, these patients have been treated with an intensive protocol involving multiple infusions of high-dose methylprednisolone and, in many cases, oral alkylating agent therapy. Current experience with this treatment is presented. The protocol appears to improve the outcome in children with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, although it is believed that it is essential that these observations be confirmed by a controlled trial. There is also interest in the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and cyclosporine in the treatment of childhood nephrotic syndrome. The experience with these agents is briefly reviewed, but the current data are inadequate to indicate their role(s) in this condition.
This article was published in J Am Soc Nephrol
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics