Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder of the kidneys characterized by the growth of numerous fluid-filled cysts. The cysts can slowly replace much of the mass of the kidney, reducing their function and ultimately leading to kidney failure. There are three types of PKD: autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD); autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD), and acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD – this is the only non-genetic type). ADPKD is the most common type, making up about 90 percent of PKD cases. The symptoms of the disease depend on the type. Symptoms of ADPKD include pain in the back and sides, headaches, urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, high blood pressure, kidney stones, liver and pancreatic cysts, diverticulosis, brain aneurysms, and abnormal heart valves. Treatment options include medication, dialysis, surgery, transplantation, treating the underlying conditions, and following a low-protein diet. Symptoms of ARPKD include high blood pressure, frequent urination, and urinary tract infections. Treatment options include medication, antibiotics, and nutritional therapy. Symptoms of ACKD include cysts that may bleed, and kidney tumours. ACKD develops in kidneys with long-term damage and scarring. Treatment options include treating the kidney disease, and surgery.