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Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome Can Cause Lifelong Ills

Last Updated: September 25, 2009.

Children with minimal-change nephrotic syndrome are at increased risk for osteoporosis, hypertension, sperm abnormalities and cataracts if the condition persists beyond puberty, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

FRIDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Children with minimal-change nephrotic syndrome are at increased risk for osteoporosis, hypertension, sperm abnormalities and cataracts if the condition persists beyond puberty, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Henriette A.C. Kyrieleis, M.D., of Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study of 15 adults who had been diagnosed with biopsy-proven childhood-onset minimal-change nephrotic syndrome. They conducted serum, urine and semen tests; molecular analysis of four genes; and an ophthalmic examination.

Seven of the patients had hypertension, while one-third had osteoporosis, the researchers found. Four out of eight patients had reduced sperm motility, six out of eight had teratozoospermia and one patient had oligozoospermia, while 10 patients had myopia and three had cataracts, the investigators discovered.

"At least one quarter of patients with biopsy-proven childhood-onset frequently relapsing minimal-change nephrotic syndrome will continue to relapse after puberty and require prolonged medical therapy," the authors write. "They frequently develop extrarenal complications such as osteoporosis, hypertension, and decreased visual acuity as a result of cataracts and myopia. One-third of male patients who are treated with cyclophosphamide demonstrate decreased sperm count and motility. These findings indicated that new, more effective, and less toxic therapies should be sought for relapsing minimal-change nephrotic syndrome."

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