Hyperlipidemia is a well-recognized complication of the nephrotic syndrome and is a factor contributing to the progression of the initial glomerular injury and the development of glomerulosclerosis. Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a plasma protein and apoE epsilon 4 allele is associated with higher plasma cholesterol levels. With this in mind, we studied apoE phenotypes and alleles in children with nephrotic glomerular diseases (NGD, n=29), including idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (n=16), membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (n=7), and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS, n=6). Children with NGD had a higher epsilon 4 allele frequency (20.7%) than controls (10.8%), and those with FSGS had both higher apoE4/3 (66.7%) and epsilon 4 allele (33.3%) frequencies than controls (20.4% and 10.8%, respectively). In IgA nephropathy (n=30, disease controls), no significant association with specific apoE was found. Further studies are needed to clarify the significance of the observed high frequencies of apoE epsilon 4 allele in children with NGD and apoE4/3 phenotype distribution in FSGS.