Why choose Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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  • Experience. Mayo Clinic treats more than 500 people each year who have FSGS.
  • Expertise. The large number of kidney specialists (nephrologists) at Mayo Clinic allows doctors to subspecialize in specific aspects of kidney medicine, including glomerular diseases such as FSGS.
  • Teamwork. Kidney specialists work together with transplant specialists and other experts to develop the best treatment plan for you.
  • New ideas. Mayo is active in research to better understand FSGS and to test new therapies through the Mayo Nephrology Collaborative Group (MNCG). You may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of experimental treatments.
  • Coordinated care. Mayo doctors work closely with your local doctor to coordinate treatment and follow-up care.


In the early stages, you may have no symptoms of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). As the disease progresses, signs of nephrotic syndrome may appear. Nephrotic syndrome is a disease that causes your body to excrete too much protein in the urine.

Signs of this disease include:

  • A foamy appearance to your urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in your face, hands or legs

Other signs your doctor can identify include:

  • Large amount of protein (albumin) in your urine
  • Low level of protein in your blood
  • High level of cholesterol in your blood

Primary FSGS that is unresponsive to treatment will often progress over time to kidney damage and end-stage kidney disease. If your kidneys fail, you will die without either dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Types of FSGS include:

  • Primary FSGS. A significant number of people diagnosed with FSGS have no known cause for their condition. This is called primary (idiopathic) FSGS.
  • Secondary FSGS. This condition is brought on by any of several factors — for example, infection, drug toxicity, diseases such as diabetes or sickle cell disease, significant obesity, use of certain medications such as anabolic steroids, or other types of kidney diseases. Controlling or treating the underlying cause often improves kidney function.
  • Genetic (also called familial) FSGS. This rare form of FSGS is caused by genetic mutations. It's suspected when several members of a family show signs of FSGS. Familial FSGS can also occur when neither parent has the disease, but each carries one copy of an abnormal gene that can be passed on to the next generation. Therefore, even if the disease doesn't show up in other family members, it's possible that the disease may be inherited.

Read more about nephrotic syndrome.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for kidney disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., ranks among the Best Hospitals for kidney disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for kidney disorders by U.S. News & World Report.

March 20, 2014