The kidneys filter waste from the blood and make urine. This problem happens when tiny filters in the kidneys leak too much protein into urine.
In most children, the cause is not known. In others, the most common cause is minimal change disease. This is damage to the filters due to things like infections, tumors, allergic reactions, and certain medicines.
Other health problems that can damage the kidneys can also lead to nephrotic syndrome.
This problem can affect children of any age. It is more common in boys. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Childhood nephrotic syndrome. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/children/childhood-nephrotic-syndrome. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Childhood nephrotic syndrome. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/childns. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Nephrotic syndrome. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/nephrotic-syndrome.html. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Nephrotic syndrome in children. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: http://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/nephrotic-syndrome-children. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Nephrotic syndrome in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/nephrotic-syndrome-in-children-21. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kuenn, MD
Last Updated: 8/31/2021
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