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Minimal change disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Idiopathic minimal change nephrotic syndrome
  • MCNS
  • Minimal change glomerulopathy
  • Minimal change nephrotic syndrome
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Minimal change disease is a kidney disorder that can lead to nephrotic syndrome, although the nephrons of the kidney look normal under a regular microscope. The most common symptom is swelling around the eyes, face, abdomen, and legs. Other features include poor appetite, weight gain, and a foamy appearance of the urine.[1][2] The cause of minimal change disease is unknown, but it may occur following an allergic reaction, immunization, or viral infection. Treatment may involve the use of steroids such as prednisone. Children often respond better to this therapy than adults. Those who experience repeated relapses may benefit from the use of cytotoxic therapy, including cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine or chlorambucil.[1]
Last updated: 8/4/2011


  1. Dugdale DC, Lin HY. Minimal change disease. MedlinePlus. 2009; Accessed 8/4/2011.
  2. Minimal Change Disease . Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network. Accessed 8/4/2011.
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Basic Information

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  • The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), part of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), conducts and supports research on a broad spectrum of diseases affecting public health. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

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