How to Say It: Neh-frah-tik sin-drome
Nephrotic syndrome is a disorder of the kidneys. It may result in:
Anatomy of the Kidney
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Tiny filters in the kidneys remove waste from the blood and makes urine. If they are not working well, wastes and fluids build up in the body.
The most common cause is damage from kidney problems such as:
Other causes are problems that harm the kidneys such as:
The risk of this problem is higher in people who have:
Symptoms may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Blood and urine tests will be done to check kidney function. Results can make the diagnosis.
Other tests will be done to look for a cause. You may need to see a doctor who treats kidney diseases.
In some people, nephrotic syndrome goes away on its own. In others, the cause will need to be treated. Options are:
The risk may be lowered by managing health problems that can harm the kidneys.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Kakar S, Kumar V, Singh R. Latest research progress on acute nephrotic syndrome. J Acute Dis. 2017;6:255-259.
Nephrotic syndrome. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nephrotic. Accessed January 4, 2021.
Nephrotic syndrome in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/nephrotic-syndrome-in-adults. Accessed January 4, 2021.
Nephrotic syndrome in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/nephrotic-syndrome-adults. Accessed January 4, 2021.
Overview of nephrotic syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/glomerular-disorders/overview-of-nephrotic-syndrome#v1056004. Accessed January 4, 2021.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 1/4/2021