Prediction of Short- and Long-Term Outcomes in Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome Academic Article uri icon

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  • Introduction: It is unknown whether steroid sensitivity and other putative risk factors collected at baseline can predict the disease course of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome in childhood. We determined whether demographic, clinical, and family reported factors at presentation can predict outcomes in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome. Methods: An observational cohort of 631 children aged 1 to 18 years diagnosed with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome between 1993 and 2016 were followed up until clinic discharge, 18 years of age, end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), or the last clinic visit. Baseline characteristics were age, sex, ethnicity, and initial steroid sensitivity. Of these, 287 (38%) children also reported any family history of kidney disease, preceding infection, microscopic hematuria, and history of asthma/allergies. The outcomes were complete remission after initial steroid course, need for a second-line agent, frequently relapsing disease, and long-term remission. The discriminatory power of the models was described using the c-statistic. Results: Overall, 25.7% of children had no further disease after their initial steroid course. In addition, 31.2% developed frequently relapsing disease; however, 77.7% were disease-free at 18 years of age. Furthermore, 1% of children progressed to ESKD. Logistic regression modeling using the different baseline exposures did not significantly improve the prediction of outcomes relative to the observed frequencies (maximum c-statistic, 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-0.67). The addition of steroid sensitivity did not improve outcome prediction of long-term outcomes (c-statistic, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.54-0.70). Conclusions: Demographic, clinical, and family reported characteristics, specifically steroid sensitivity, are not useful in predicting relapse rates or long-term remission in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome. Further studies are needed to address factors that contribute to long-term health.


  • Carter, Simon A
  • Mistry, Shilan
  • Fitzpatrick, Jessica
  • Banh, Tonny
  • Hebert, Diane
  • Langlois, Valerie
  • Pearl, Rachel J
  • Chanchlani, Rahul
  • Licht, Christoph PB
  • Radhakrishnan, Seetha
  • Brooke, Josefina
  • Reddon, Michele
  • Levin, Leo
  • Aitken-Menezes, Kimberly
  • Noone, Damien
  • Parekh, Rulan S

publication date

  • April 2020