Minimal Change Disease (MCD)


Overview and Symptoms:

Minimal Change Disease (MCD) is a disorder affecting the filtering units of the kidney (glomeruli) that can lead to symptoms associated with Nephrotic Syndrome. Some symptoms of NS include:

Proteinuria– Large amounts of protein ‘spilling’ into the urine

Edema – Swelling in parts of the body, most noticeable around the eyes, hands, and feet that become painful

Hypertension – High blood pressure

Hypoproteinemia – Low blood protein

Hypercholesterolemia – High level of cholesterol

Fast Facts

MCD is the most common cause of NS in children associated with 80 to 90% of cases.

It is also seen in adults, but makes up only 10 to 15% of NS cases.

Up to 50% of adult MCD patients that go into
remission will relapse.

Males are twice as likely to have MCD as females.

If MCD does not recur for three years, there is a good chance that it will not return.

Treating Your Disease

Short-Term Goals

The short-term goal of treatment is to stop protein from spilling completely (remission) or lower the amount of protein lost in the urine as much as possible

Long-Term Goals

The long-term goals of treatment include preventing relapses of protein in the urine and preventing the deterioration of kidney function.

There are no currently FDA-approved medication options for MCD. The standard first-line treatment for MCD is Prednisone, a corticosteroid.

How to Live With Your Disease


Following a low fat, low sodium diet will help improve your kidneys’ function and your MCD symptoms.


Finding a nephrologist that specializes in MCD is very important to your long-term health.


Learn about your disease, treatment options, and clinical trials in order to better advocate for yourself.


NephCure Kidney International can help you connect with other patients and find support to manage your disease.


Get help coping with the challenges of living with FSGS through support groups like NephCure. Learn more about our how we can support you.


Eat a diet low in salt and processed foods to manage your blood pressure and reduce strain on your kidneys. Learn more about a kidney-friendly diet and get our cookbook.

Related Resources


Plant-Based Diet and Kidney Disease


Mental Health Patient and Caregiver Panel


Newly Diagnosed Parents – Nephrotic Syndrome 101

Educational Materials

School Accomodations


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