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November 1959

The Nephrotic Syndrome: Renal Biopsy Findings in Adults Responding to Prednisone

Author Affiliations

Portsmouth, Va.; Richmond, Va.

From the Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia Hospital and McGuire Veterans Hospital, Richmond, Va. (Dr. Unger), Ass't. Professor of Medicine, former Resident in Medicine, Medical College of Virginia (Dr. Sharpe).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;104(5):684-691. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270110004002

Introduction  The value of renal biopsy in the diagnosis and management of the nephrotic syndrome appears well established.1-5 We have observed eight adults with severe nephrotic syndromes who were treated intensively with prednisone. Diuresis to dryness was observed in every case after the initial course of therapy. In order to demonstrate the pathologic lesion which might be anticipated to respond favorably to prednisone, these patients have been studied by renal biopsy. The clinical diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome has been based on the presence of heavy albuminuria, not less than 6.2 gm. per day, edema, and hypoalbuminemia.

Materials and Methods  These eight patients included six males and two females, aged 24 to 41 years. Except for certain special lipid studies, determinations were made by the hospital clinical laboratory. Percutaneous renal biopsy was performed as previously described.6


Clinical Findings (Table 1).  —These patients uniformly displayed a well-developed nephrotic syndrome.