Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Renal

Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (8006)

Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (8006) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Renal


Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
(FSGS) is the most common primary
glomerular disease in United States. It
causes leakage of protein in urine and
scarring of kidneys. It can also lead to
kidney failure.
What is FSGS?
FSGS is scarring of glomeruli. Glomeruli
are the filtering units of the kidneys. The
scarring changes the filtration barrier in the
kidney. This leads to leakage of protein in
urine. The scarring can happen on its own
for unknown reasons. This is called primary
FSGS. Scarring can also happen due to viral
infections, obesity, or birth defects in the
kidney. This is known as secondary FSGS.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of FSGS are due to
leakage of protein in urine called
proteinuria. When the proteinuria is high,
you can see bubbles in urine. Proteinuria can
cause low protein levels in the blood. This
causes swelling in legs and trouble breathing
due to fluid in the lungs. Proteinuria also
causes high blood pressure and high
cholesterol levels.
ξ Kidney biopsy: Diagnosis of FSGS
is made by kidney biopsy. A biopsy
removes a small piece of the kidney.
This sample helps to figure out how
much scarring and damage has
already happened.
ξ Blood tests: Blood tests help to find
viral infections or any other cause of
FSGS. Blood tests will also be done
to check your kidney function,
protein and cholesterol levels.
ξ Urine tests: Urine tests measure the
amount of protein in the urine.
Treatment of FSGS starts with deciding if
you have primary or secondary FSGS. If it is
secondary FSGS, you will need treatment
for the cause of FSGS.
If you have primary FSGS, your doctor will
try to lower the protein in urine. The ways to
do this are:
1. Good blood pressure control with
medicines that lower protein in urine
2. Low salt diet
3. High protein diet
4. Medicines to help with swelling
called diuretics (also known as
“water pills”)
5. Medicines to lower cholesterol
If you still have protein in your urine after
these treatments, your doctor will discuss
other medicines, like prednisone, to slow
down the process of scarring in your kidney.

Other Resources
The National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health
Information Center
ξ Phone number: 1-800-860-8747
ξ Website:

References/Sources of Images
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (2014, April).
Glomerular diseases. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-

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