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Minimal change disease

Minimal change disease
Classification & external resources
ICD-10 N04.
ICD-9 581.3
DiseasesDB 8230
MedlinePlus 000496
eMedicine med/1483 

Minimal change disease or nil disease (lipoid nephrosis) is a disease of the kidney which causes nephrotic syndrome and usually affects children (peak incidence at 2-3 years of age).[1]



The symptoms are proteinuria (leakage of protein into the urine) and water retention. There are other kidney diseases that have these same symptoms but a needle biopsy shows change in the kidney tissue if these other diseases are present.


Minimal change disease can be associated with food allergies, medications, or hematologic malignancies, or it can occur idiopathically. The pathology does not appear to involve complement, immunoglobulins, or immune complex deposition. Rather, an altered cell-mediated immunologic response with abnormal secretion of lymphokines by T cells is thought to reduce the production of anions in the glomerular basement membrane, thereby increasing the glomerular permeability to serum albumin through a reduction of electrostatic repulsion.[2] The loss of anionic charges is also thought to favor foot process fusion. With minimal change disease the kidney tissue appears normal under a light microscope, but shows podocyte foot process effacement under an electron microscope.[1]


Prednisone is prescribed along with a blood pressure medication, typically an ACE inhibitor such as lisinopril. Often the liver is overactive with minimal change disease and over produces cholesterol. Therefore a statin drug is often prescribed for the duration of the treatment. When the urine is clear of protein, the drugs can be discontinued. 50% of patients will relapse and need further treatment.

Other notes

80% of those who get minimal change disease have a recurrence with 20% never realizing another occurrence. Some authors have noted that other conditions associated with T-cell abnormalities, such as Hodgkin's disease and T-cell lymphoma, are sometimes associated with minimal change disease.


  1. ^ a b Kumar V, Fausto N, Abbas A (editors) (2003). Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 7th, Saunders, pp. 981-2. ISBN 978-0-721-60187-8. 
  2. ^ Mathieson P (2003). "Immune dysregulation in minimal change nephropathy". Nephrol Dial Transplant 18 Suppl 6: vi26-9. PMID 12953038.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Minimal_change_disease". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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