What is it?

Atrophic kidneys refer to an abnormal sized kidney with abnormal function. One or both kidneys can shrink. Atrophic kidneys may be caused due to injury or a toxin exposure or as a result of other chronic conditions such as APLA syndrome, tuberculosis, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, urinary tract obstruction, sickle cell disease and malignancy.
Renal sclerosis, or focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), described as scarring of the kidney in small sections of each glomerulus. Primary FSGS happens without a known cause whilst secondary FSGS is caused by another disease or a drug including HIV and steroids. For some people FSGS may get worse and reach kidney failure. Renal fibrosis, characterized by tubulointerstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis, is the final manifestation of chronic kidney disease.

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Renal Sclerosis, Atrophy, Fibrosis.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Atrophy of kidney
- Diffuse mesangial sclerosis
- Nephrosclerosis
- Page kidney
- Renal interstitial fibrosis

Signs & symptoms

Atrophic kidneys symptoms may include changes in frequency of urination, darkening skin, drowsiness, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, swelling of the hands and feet, acidosis, high creatinine, electrolytes abnormalities and malnutrition. Late symptoms of FSGS include swelling of the hands and feet, weight gain, foamy urine, high cholesterol and low blood albumin.


Diagnosis of atrophic kidneys included imaging studies of the kidneys such as ultrasound, CT, or MRI. FSGS is diagnosed with urine tests, blood tests including glomerular filtration rate, kidney biopsy and sometimes genetic testing.


Treatment for atrophic kidneys depends on the reason that led to the condition. If a renal failure occurs, then hemodialysis is needed. Also, lifestyle changes such as eating less salty food is required. FSGS treatment depends on the cause and it may include steroids, immunosuppressive drugs, plasmapheresis, ACE inhibitor and ARBs, diuretics and diet change.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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