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Case Rep Nephrol Urol. 2012 Jul;2(2):102-7. doi: 10.1159/000341257. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Seasonal relapsing minimal change disease: a novel strategy for avoiding long-term immunosuppression.

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Imperial Kidney and Transplant Centre, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.



We describe the case of a young woman with seasonal allergic rhinitis who presented with signs of a lower respiratory tract infection, acute renal impairment and the nephrotic syndrome, demonstrated on biopsy to be due to minimal change disease (MCD) with acute tubular injury. Following initiation of high-dose corticosteroids, her respiratory symptoms and renal impairment improved, and the nephrotic syndrome went rapidly into remission, but relapsed, off treatment, in a seasonal fashion.


In view of significant side effects related to corticosteroids, relapses were treated with the calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus with excellent effect, but the patient was keen to avoid the complications of medium-term immunosuppression and so the drug was weaned early. She relapsed for the second time, whilst off tacrolimus, at the same time of year as at her initial presentation. In subsequent years we have successfully managed this patient with seasonal relapsing MCD with seasonal prophylactic tacrolimus therapy.


We discuss the natural history of MCD and treatment options and demonstrate the utility of a clear understanding of the natural history of the condition in order to predict disease relapse and tailor therapy to the individual patient.


Corticosteroids; Minimal change disease; Tacrolimus

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