Which physical findings are characteristic of pediatric nephrotic syndrome?

Updated: Mar 04, 2020
  • Author: Jerome C Lane, MD; Chief Editor: Craig B Langman, MD  more...
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The most common clinical finding is edema. The edema is pitting and is typically found in the lower extremities, face and periorbital regions, scrotum or labia, and abdomen (ascites). In those children with marked ascites, mechanical restriction to breathing may be present, and the child may manifest compensatory tachypnea. Pulmonary edema and effusions can also cause respiratory distress. Hypertension can be present and is more common in children with FSGS and MPGN than in those with MCNS.

Physical findings of the complications of INS can also be evident. Abdominal tenderness might indicate peritonitis. Hypotension and signs of shock can be present in children with sepsis. Thrombosis can cause various findings, including tachypnea and respiratory distress (pulmonary thrombosis/embolism), hematuria (renal vein thrombosis), and seizure (cerebral thrombosis).

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