Eighty-four children with steroid-responsive nephrotic syndrome who had been shown to have, or were believed to have, minimal change histology were investigated to study the relationship between steroid-responsive nephrotic syndrome and allergy. They were found to have a greater incidence of the standard atopic disorders--asthma, eczema, recurrent urticaria, and hay fever. Their 1st-degree relatives had an increased incidence of these atopic disorders too. A nasal discharge was a frequent precursor or an accompaniment of nephrotic syndrome, but an overt atrophic disorder at the same time was rare. Such disorders, related to relapse, occurred in only 5 children; in none was it a consistent or recurrent happening at the time of each relapse. No example of pollen hypersensitivity nephrotic syndrome was found, and no particular allergen could be identified with certainty as responsible for a child's nephrotic syndrome. No association was found between the time of relapse and the season of the year, or the season in which the child was born. Children with nephrotic syndrome had a greater incidence of positive skin tests to common antigens, the comparative frequency of positive reactions to different antigens being similar to that found in children with asthma, although the total frequency was about half that of children with asthma. Despite the increased incidence of clinical features of atopy, measures to reduce the frequency of relapse of nephrotic syndrome by allergen avoidance, the use of sodium cromoglycate, and the use of a new oral antiallergic drug were unsuccessful.
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