Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited disease that causes many cysts to form in the kidneys. The word polycystic means many cysts.
Cysts, which are sacs filled with fluid, grow in both kidneys causing them to become enlarged. The number of cysts can range from a few to a great number. The size of the cysts can vary from too small to detect, to cysts that are larger than the kidney itself.
PKD can be painful and interfere with the normal functioning of the kidney. It can result in infection, kidney stones, high blood pressure, and, eventually, kidney failure. PKD is a potentially serious condition that requires care from your doctor.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
PKD is caused by an inherited gene. It is one of the most common genetic diseases in the United States. Children have a 50% chance of developing PKD if one parent carries the gene. If a person has the PKD gene, he or she will have some form of the disease in his or her lifetime. The disease can cause different symptoms within members of the same family.
There is also a rare form of PKD, called autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, that affects newborns, infants, and children. This form of PKD can cause death in the first month of life.
Last reviewedOctober 2012by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.