Last reviewed 01/2018

A number of the glomerulonephritides may present with nephrotic syndrome including:

  • minimal change glomerulonephritis
  • membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis
  • membranous glomerulonephritis
  • focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Other causes include:

  • systemic lupus erythematosis
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  • diabetic glomerulosclerosis
  • amyloidosis
  • allergic reactions to a wide range of allergens
  • drugs and metals including:
    • gold
    • mercury
    • cadmium
    • captopril
    • penicillamine
    • analgesics and NSAID's including phenacetin, aspirin and paracetamol
  • congenital nephrotic syndrome

With few exceptions, the causes of nephrotic syndrome are identical in children and adults; however, the relative frequencies of the different aetiologies vary considerably with important consequences for management and biopsy - see aetiology of nephrotic syndrome in children, aetiology of nephrotic syndrome in adults, and investigations.