Encyclopedia Home / M / Minimal change disease

Minimal change disease

  • Alternative Names

    Minimal change nephrotic syndrome; Nil disease; Lipoid nephrosis; Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome of childhood


    Corticosteroids can cure minimal change disease in most children. Some patients may need to stay on steroids to keep the disease in remission.

    Adults do not respond to steroids quite as well as children, but many still do find steroids effective. Adults may have more frequent relapses and steroid dependence.

    Patients who have three or more relapses may do better with cytotoxic therapy. In most cases, this involves a medication called cyclophosphamide. Other medicines that have been used include cyclosporine and chlorambucil.

    Swelling may be treated with:

    • ACE inhibitor medicines
    • Blood pressure control
    • Diuretics (water pills)

    You may also be told to reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Minimal change disease usually responds well to corticosteroids, often within the first month. A relapse can occur, but patients may improve after prolonged treatment with corticosteroids and medications that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressive medications).

    • Nephrotic syndrome
    • Side effects of medications

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of minimal change disease.

    If you have this disorder, call for an appointment with your health care provider if your symptoms worsen or you develop new symptoms, including side effects from the medications used to treat the disorder.