Nephrotic syndrome with Minimal Change Disease and Atopy in NorthAfrican adults


Asma Hadhri
Sanda Mrabet
Narjes Ben Aicha
Asma Fradi
Awatef Azzabi
Wissal Sahtout
Raja Boukadida
Yosra Guedri
Dorsaf Zellama
Nihed Abdessaied
Helmi Ben Saad
Abdellatif Achour


Background: In adults, minimal change disease (MCD) accounts for 15 to 25% of nephrotic syndrome (NS). Numerous reports have suggested a
link between NS and atopy. However, data on treatment and prognosis of NS associated with allergy are limited.
Aim: To examine the presenting characteristics, treatments and outcomes of adults with allergic MCD in a North African center.
Methods: This was an observational study using retrospectively collected data. Patients were recruited from the Nephrology department of Sahloul
Hospital (Sousse, Tunisia) from January 2006 to December 2020. Adults with a biopsy proved MCD, which was associated with atopy, were included.
Results: Fifteen patients (eight males, age mean±SD: 34±13 years) were included. High eosinophil and immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels were noted in
three and twelve patients respectively. The IgE mean level at the initial presentation was 1431 IU/ml. Allergic skin tests were positive in nine patients.
All patients were treated with corticosteroids, five had anti-histamine therapy and five had hyposensitization therapy, which was successful in two
patients. Thirteen patients had relapsed during follow-up. Mean eosinophil level was significantly higher in patients with frequent relapses compared
to those with infrequent relapses (5415/mm³ vs. 239.12/mm³, respectively, p=0.022). Two patients had progressed to chronic renal failure.
Conclusion: It is important to search for atopic disorders in patients with MCD to better control this disease and use specific treatments. However,
the efficacy of anti-allergic therapies has to be proven.