Minimal change disease

What is the long-term outlook of minimal change disease?

In individuals who are not treated, there is an increased risk for infection and blood clotting events. About 5-10% of untreated adults may have spontaneous remission (resolution) of disease within a few months.

One major indication of the long-term outcome of MCD is the initial response to corticosteroid treatment. About 80-95% of adults with MCD who receive treatment via corticosteroids experience complete remission of symptoms. About half of all adults treated for MCD have remission within four weeks, while 10-25% require longer treatment. MCD may recur or relapse in about half of all adults. This usually occurs within one year of treatment.

Despite the potential for the disease to recur, the occurrence of kidney failure and end stage renal disease is rare.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might minimal change disease be treated?

Corticosteroids are typically the first line of treatment for minimal change disease. The fluid retention and high blood pressure that often accompanies minimal change disease may be treated with the use of water pills (diuretics) in combination with a low sodium diet and blood pressure medications (such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), calcium channel antagonists).

Other medications that may be used in instances of disease recurrence include those that are used to treat certain types of cancer (cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, rituximab) and those that suppress the immune system (cyclosporine, tacrolimus, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil).

There is an increased risk for the formation of blood clots (thromboembolic events) and infection in individuals with minimal change disease. It is recommended that individuals with minimal change disease stay active and should a blood clot occur, they may be treated with blood thinners. Infections, such as cellulitis, peritonitis, and pneumonia are common in individuals with minimal change disease and should be treated quickly.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: National Kidney Foundation 30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY, 10016, United States
Phone: 212-889-2210 Toll Free: 800-622-9010 Fax : 212-689-9261 Email: Url:
Name: NephCure Kidney International 150 S. Warner Road Suite 402
King of Prussia, PA, 19406,
Phone: 1-866-NephCure (637-4287) Email: Url:

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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