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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1999 Sep;10(9):1900-7.

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: prognostic implications of the cellular lesion.

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Department of Pathology, Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


The cellular lesion (CELL), seen in some patients with primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), comprises proliferation, hypertrophy, and pathologic changes in the cells overlying the glomerular scar. The prognosis of the cellular lesion was retrospectively studied in 100 patients with FSGS (43 had FSGS-CELL and 57 had FSGS without the cellular lesion (classic segmental scar [CS]). Patients with the FSGS-CELL lesion were more often black and severely proteinuric and developed more end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Nephrotic patients with FSGS-CELL (n = 39) were more proteinuric at presentation than patients with FSGS-CS (n = 36). ESRD developed more frequently in patients with the FSGS-CELL (17 of 39, 44% versus 5 of 36, 14%, P = 0.005), and patients with extensive FSGS-CELL (> or = 20% glomeruli) were mainly black (94%), severely nephrotic (67%, >10 g/d), and had a poor response to treatment (23% remission). In nephrotic patients, initial serum creatinine, interstitial expansion > or = 20%, and CELL independently predicted ESRD. However, the rates of remission in treated nephrotic patients with FSGS-CELL and FSGS-CS were the same (9 of 17, 53% versus 17 of 39, 52%), and patients in both groups who achieved a remission had a 5-yr survival of 100%. Steroid treatment was the only variable that predicted remission. Patients with the FSGS-CELL have an increased prevalence of ESRD, but the improved prognosis associated with remission is so significant that a therapeutic trial is warranted in all nephrotic FSGS patients, regardless of the presence of the cellular lesion.

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