ASN logoA kidney condition occurring in children was until lately thought to vanish post puberty. However it may continue into adulthood and may cause considerable long-term complications claims a new study. The findings may specify that better treatment options might be required for children with the disorder known as minimal change nephrotic syndrome.

Several children who develop minimal change nephrotic syndrome, a disorder that may generally affect the blood filtering structures of the kidneys may be effectively treated with prednisone. The cause of the syndrome is not known but may be connected to an autoimmune illness. Unfortunately, about 10% to 40% of patients may undergo relapses after childhood and ought to be treated long-term with immuno suppressive drugs.

The lasting health effects of minimal change nephrotic syndrome and its treatment in patients who are apparently not treated during childhood was obeserved by experts.

About 15 adult patients with the disease were apparently examined by Henriette Kyreileis, MD, PhD from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands and Elena Levtchenko, MD, PhD form University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, and their colleagues. The investigators conducted several tests on the patients including blood and urine analysis, semen analysis in men, x-ray exams, eye exams, and genetic tests.

About 7 of the 15 patients were suffering from hypertension. Around 5 of the patients had osteoporosis. Approximately 10 patients had night blindness which was revealed by eye exams. Cataracts were found in about three of the patients. There were about 8 male subjects in the study out of which one patient apparently had low sperm count, about four patients were found with sperm motility and around six patients supposedly had defective sperm.

The examination exposed that while adults being treated for minimal change nephrotic syndrome may preserve normal kidney function, they may often suffer from other grave health problems. Long-term immuno suppressive treatments could be the reason and/or may add to the development of these unfavorable effects.

This study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN).