Nephrotic syndrome in adults
Nephrotic syndrome is an important presentation of glomerular disease characterised by heavy proteinuria, hypoalbuminaemia and oedema. The differential diagnosis of the underlying condition is wide including primary renal disorders and secondary diseases such as malignancy, infection, diabetes and amyloid. Presentations to acute medicine may be with hypervolaemia, complications of the nephrotic state (such as venous thromboembolism), or complications of therapy (such as infection).
Early recognition of nephrotic syndrome is possible through simple urinalysis for protein and testing serum albumin, although a high index of suspicion is sometimes required in patients with comorbidities including potentially distracting cardiac or hepatic diseases.