Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and minimal change disease (MCD) have similar initial histological findings; however, their prognoses are distinct. Therefore, it is of great importance to discriminate FSGS from MCD in the early phase of disease and predict clinical prognosis. A discovery set of 184 urine samples (61 healthy control, 80 MCD, and 43 FSGS) and a validation set of 61 urine samples (12 healthy control, 26 MCD, and 23 FSGS) were collected at the time of kidney biopsy. Metabolic profiles were examined using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Of 70 urinary metabolites, myo-inositol was significantly higher in FSGS patients than in control patients (discovery set, 2.34-fold, P < 0.001; validation set, 2.35-fold, P = 0.008) and MCD patients (discovery set, 2.48-fold, P = 0.002; validation set, 1.69-fold, P = 0.042). Myo-inositol showed an inverse relationship with the initial estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and was associated with the plasma level of soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor in FSGS patients. Myo-inositol treatment ameliorated the decreased expression of ZO-1 and synaptopodin in an in vitro FSGS model, and as myo-inositol increased, myo-inositol oxygenase tissue expression decreased proportionally to eGFR. Furthermore, urinary myo-inositol exhibited an increase in the power to discriminate FSGS patients, and its addition could better predict the response to initial treatment. In conclusion, urinary myo-inositol may be an important indicator in the diagnosis and treatment of FSGS patients.