Background: Idiopathic or Primary Nephrotic Syndrome (INS) is a common glomerular disease in pediatric population, characterized by proteinuria, edema and hypoalbuminemia with variable findings in renal histopathology.
Objective: This review aims to summarize current data on the etiopathogenesis diagnosis, protocols of treatment and potential therapeutic advances in INS.
Methods: This narrative review searched for articles on histopathology, physiopathology, genetic causes, diagnosis and treatment of INS in pediatric patients. The databases evaluated were PubMed and Scopus.
Results: INS is caused by an alteration in the permeability of the glomerular filtration barrier with unknown etiology. There are several gaps in the etiopathogenesis, response to treatment and clinical course of INS that justify further investigation. Novel advances include the recent understanding of the role of podocytes in INS and the identification of genes associated with the disease. The role of immune system cells and molecules has also been investigated. The diagnosis relies on clinical findings, laboratory exams and renal histology for selected cases. The treatment is primarily based on steroids administration. In case of failure, other medications should be tried. Recent studies have also searched for novel biomarkers for diagnosis and alternative therapeutic approaches.
Conclusion: The therapeutic response to corticosteroids still remains the main predictive factor for the prognosis of the disease. Genetic and pharmacogenomics tools may allow the identification of cases not responsive to immunosuppressive medications.
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