Glomerulosclerosis is a medical condition related to the kidneys. In this condition, the glomeruli or tiny filters of the kidneys, become stiff and scarred. This makes it difficult for the kidneys to filter wastes from the blood, leading to a condition called glomerular diseases. Glomerulosclerosis is potentially serious and can lead to permanent kidney damage.

Types of Glomerulosclerosis

There are two main types of glomerulosclerosis: Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and Global Glomerulosclerosis (GGS).

  • Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: This type of glomerulosclerosis is caused by a defect in the small capillaries of the filtering unit of the kidneys. As these capillaries become weakened, the filtering capacity of the kidneys is reduced, resulting in a buildup of waste material in the blood.
  • Global Glomerulosclerosis: This type of glomerulosclerosis is caused by a problem with the filtration barrier in the glomeruli. As this filtration barrier breaks down, wastes and fluids are leaked into the bloodstream, leading to a buildup of waste material in the blood.


Common symptoms of glomerulosclerosis involve changes in urine. People with this condition may have frothy or pinkish-tinged urine, dark colored or bloody urine, frequent urination, or increased amounts of waste material in the urine. Additional symptoms may include high blood pressure, swelling in the hands and feet, and weight gain.


Diagnosis of glomerulosclerosis begins with a review of a person’s medical history and a physical examination. A urine analysis and imaging tests such as an Ultrasound, Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) may be used to determine additional information. A kidney biopsy may also be done to observe the glomeruli.


Treatment for glomerulosclerosis depends on the type of glomerulosclerosis a person has. Treatments may include medications (such as immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, and ACE inhibitors) to reduce inflammation, reduce high blood pressure, and to protect the kidney from further damage. Dialysis or a kidney transplant may be necessary if the damage to the glomeruli is too extensive.


The outlook for people with glomerulosclerosis depends on the type and severity of the condition. If the condition is mild and can be managed with medications, a person may still have a good prognosis. However, if the damage to the kidneys is extensive, it may lead to permanent damage and kidney failure.