Glomerulosclerosis refers to scarring or hardening of the glomeruli -- blood vessels located in the kidneys. The glomeruli filter the blood as it passes through the kidneys. They remove waste fluids that then leave the body as urine.
Damaged glomeruli can't perform their job adequately. As a result, large amounts of protein from the blood leak into the urine rather than remaining in the bloodstream. This leads to a condition called proteinuria.
Your kidneys help filter waste, excess fluid, and toxins from your blood. They are also important for blood cell production and bone health. If kidneys don't work properly, harmful substances build up in the body, blood pressure can rise, and too much fluid can collect in the body's tissues, which leads to swelling, called edema.
If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to take over their job.
Glomerulosclerosis can affect children and adults. Men are slightly more likely to develop it. African-Americans are at higher risk than whites.
Causes of Glomerulosclerosis
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a kidney disease that can lead to glomerulosclerosis. In FSGS, the scarring occurs only in some of the glomeruli. And only part of the individual glomeruli is damaged.
Untreated, it can lead to kidney failure. In some cases, kidney failure can occur despite treatment.
FSGS most frequently occurs without a cause. In such cases it is called idiopathic or primary FSGS. Sometimes, though, FSGS does have a known cause, and these can include: