We studied 134 Arab children with primary nephrotic syndrome. The annual incidence was 11.6/100 000 children and the ratio of boys to girls was 1.3:1. Ninety eight per cent were responsive to steroids and the mean age of the children at diagnosis was 5.7 years. On follow up (mean 29.8 months, range 1 month to 11 years) 46% had a frequently relapsing course. Renal biopsy, done in 17 patients with frequently relapsing, steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome, showed minimal changes in 15 and mesangial proliferative lesions in two. Three of the 129 patients did not respond to steroids; two had focal and segmental sclerosis and the third had mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis. One patient died.
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