Minimal change disease electron microscopy

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Minimal Change Disease Microchapters


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Yazan Daaboul, Serge Korjian, Vamsikrishna Gunnam M.B.B.S [2]


A kidney biopsy is not routinely performed as soon as the nephrotic syndrome is found in lab work-up. According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Kidney Disease – Improve Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines in 2012, an initial attempt using corticosteroids should be performed before a renal biopsy is performed. Electron microscopy is required for the diagnosis of minimal change disease. It shows effacement (fusion) of podocytes, which are visceral epithelial cells, with slit-pore membrane obliteration between podocyte foot processes. However, podocyte effacement is not specific and should not be considered pathognomonic of the disease.

Electron microscopy

Electron microscopy of minimal change disease


  1. Vivarelli, Marina; Massella, Laura; Ruggiero, Barbara; Emma, Francesco (2017). "Minimal Change Disease". Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 12 (2): 332–345. doi:10.2215/CJN.05000516. ISSN 1555-9041.
  2. Beck L, Bomback AS, Choi MJ, Holzman LB, Langford C, Mariani LH; et al. (2013). "KDOQI US commentary on the 2012 KDIGO clinical practice guideline for glomerulonephritis". Am J Kidney Dis. 62 (3): 403–41. doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.06.002. PMID 23871408.
  3. D'Agati V (2003). "Pathologic classification of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis". Semin Nephrol. 23 (2): 117–34. doi:10.1053/snep.2003.50012. PMID 12704572.

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