Distal nephron sodium-potassium exchange in children with nephrotic syndrome

R.A.M.G. Donckerwolcke*, A. France, J. vd Walle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Distal nephron sodium-potassium exchange in children with nephrotic syndrome.

Donckerwolcke RA, France A, Raes A, Vande Walle J.

Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands. [email protected]

While recent literature data suggest that a primary impairment in sodium excretion is the basic abnormality in the pathogenesis of edema formation in the nephrotic syndrome, there is ample evidence that functional hypovolemia contributes to stimulation of renal sodium and fluid retention. Vasoactive hormones such as renin and aldosterone are involved in this process. Discrimination between both mechanisms would be possible by assessment of aldosterone bioactivity and will have therapeutical consequences by indicating the need for administration of i.v. albumin or diuretics. In this paper, several indices of aldosterone bioactivity were assessed in 85 patients with minimal lesion nephrotic syndrome (118 measurements were performed in patients while in remission and 210 following relapses), and in 41 nephrotic patients with different types of nephropathy and were related to plasma renin and aldosterone levels. A better correlation was found between log aldosterone and U(K+)/U(Na+) + U(K+) ratio than with other parameters measuring renal potassium handling such as transtubular potassium gradient, fractional excretion of potassium and urine K+/urine Na+ or urine K+ creatinine ratios. In patients with renal sodium retention (FE(Na)% less than 0.5), an U(K+)/U(Na+) + U(K+) ratio higher than 0.60 identifies patients with increased aldosterone levels and indicates functional hypovolemia. This index may therefore be used to assess which patients will benefit from i.v. albumin administration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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