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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4192578, 9 pages
Review Article

Treatment Strategies of Adult Primary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: A Systematic Review Focusing on the Last Two Decades

Department of Internal Medicine IV (Nephrology and Hypertension), Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstraße 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Received 24 December 2015; Accepted 13 March 2016

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Tanaka

Copyright © 2016 Arno Beer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Adult primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) remains a therapeutic challenge for the treating physician. With the advent of novel immunosuppressive measures, our arsenal of therapeutic options increased considerably. The aim of this review was to summarize reports published over the last two decades which reported on treatment outcome. Most reports included patients with a steroid-resistant (SR) disease course, yet the cohort with the highest unmet need, since persistent nephrotic range proteinuria is associated with a poor renal prognosis and portends a high risk of developing end-stage renal disease. While in first-line treatment, steroid treatment remains the recommended standard with an overall remission rate of 50% and higher, optimal treatment strategies for steroid-dependent/multirelapsing (SD/MR) and SR patients have to be defined. In both entities, calcineurin inhibitors showed good efficacy, while mycophenolate mofetil was less effective in SR cases compared to those with SD/MR. The same was true for rituximab, a monoclonal antibody targeting B-cells. In resistant cases, addition of extracorporeal treatment options or treatment with alkylating agents may be considered. To shape the future for treatment of FSGS, international collaborations to conduct larger clinical trials are needed to identify potential novel efficacious immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory therapies.