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Polycystic Kidney Disease Understanding the Diagnosis

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a type of kidney disease, specifically classified as a genetic condition. Often called PKD, this condition is characterized by the growth of cysts in the kidneys.

These cysts are filled with fluid and can cause the enlargement of the kidneys. Because of their location, these cysts can replace the normal structure of the kidneys, which can reduce the overall function level and quality of the kidneys. Those with this condition may develop kidney failure as a result.

When PKD does progress and leads to kidney failure, it usually takes a number of years. Most patients will need treatment through dialysis or kidney transplantation in this case.

It’s estimated that about half of those who have the most common type of this condition will progress to end stage renal disease or ESRD. These cysts can also form in the liver and in other organs. In some cases, they can form in the blood vessels that lead to the brain and heart.

There are two main types of PKD, autosomal dominant PKD and autosomal recessive PKD.

  • Autosomal dominant PKD is the most common form and is inherited. Symptoms usually occur when the individual reaches 30 to 40 years of age. About 90 percent of all conditions are this form.
  • Autosomal recessive PKD is a rare form. The symptoms occur in the early months of life, often prior to birth.In both conditions, treatment from a doctor is necessary to ensure quality of life.

The symptoms of autosomal dominant PKD mainly include pain in the back and at the sides. Headaches are also another symptom of the condition. The pain can be persistent or come and go. The intensity can also range widely.

Those who have this condition also often have other complications. Urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, live cysts, pancreatic cysts and abnormal heart valves are some of them. High blood pressure, aneurysms, and kidney stones may also occur.

Treatment Options
Polycystic kidney disease is often treated based on the symptoms. Pain is treated through treatment of the underlying problem, such as treatment for kidney stones. Urinary tract infections are common and need medication to be treated.

In many patients even those who get help for kidney disease, the condition can progress to end stage renal disease. This condition’s treatment is dialysis and sometimes kidney transplant. Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment plan for your needs.


Written by Patrick Ireland

About Patrick Ireland

My name is Patrick Ireland, living in the Philippines with my wife and two daughters. I have been studying the web for over a decade. Now that I am 60 years old, I am starting to apply some of the knowledge that I have gained. "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to never stop questioning." -Einstein.

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