Polycystic Kidney Disease
What is polycystic kidney disease (PKD)?
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a rare genetic disorder. It causes many cysts filled with fluid to grow in the kidneys. PKD cysts can impair how the kidneys work. It can lead to kidney failure. PKD is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure. People with PKD can also have cysts in the liver and problems in other organs, such as the heart and blood vessels in the brain.
What are the different types of PKD?
There are 2 main forms of PKD that are inherited:
Autosomal dominant PKD
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common form of PKD. It accounts for about 90% of all PKD cases. Autosomal dominant means that if 1 parent has the disease, there is a 50% chance that the disease will pass to a child. Both males and females are equally affected.
ADPKD is often diagnosed in adulthood. It used to be called adult polycystic kidney disease. Usually, at least 1 parent must have the disease for a child to inherit it. In 10% of cases, there may be no family history of PKD. These cases are new mutations in a family. In very few cases, ADPKD occurs suddenly after conception. Parents would not be at increased risk to have more children with PKD. But people with PKD have a 50% chance of passing the gene on to their children.
Symptoms often start between age 30 and 40. But they can start in childhood. They may include:
ADPKD may occur with other conditions such as:
The symptoms of ADPKD may look like other health problems. Always check with your provider for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis of ADPKD may include:
Your healthcare provider will figure out a treatment plan after careful consideration of symptoms and medical history. Treatment may include:
Autosomal recessive PKD
Autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD) is a rare form of PKD. It is thought to be caused by a particular genetic flaw that is different from the genetic flaw that causes ADPKD. Parents who don't have the disease can have a child with the disease if both parents carry the abnormal gene and both pass the gene to their child. Carrier parents have a 25% chance with each pregnancy to have a child with this type of PKD. Males and females are equally affected.
ARPKD is sometimes found before birth using a fetal ultrasound. Symptoms can start before birth. In most cases, the earlier symptoms start, the more severe the outcome.
Children born with ARPKD may develop kidney failure within a few years. They often have:
The disease also usually affects the liver, spleen, and pancreas. This results in low blood cell counts, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids.
The symptoms of ARPKD may look like other health problems. Always check with your child's healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis often includes ultrasound imaging of the fetus or newborn to reveal cysts in the kidneys. An ultrasound exam of kidneys of relatives may also be helpful.
Your child's healthcare provider will figure out a treatment plan after careful consideration of the child's symptoms and medical history. Treatment may include: