What is it?

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder in which cysts grow within the kidneys, resulting in renal enlargement and loss of function. A cyst is a round benign sac filled with fluids. The cysts vary in size, they can grow and damage the kidneys, causing complications such as high blood pressure and kidney failure. Moreover, cysts can grow in the liver, may cause brain aneurysms, pregnancy complications in women, heart valve abnormalities and diverticulitis. There are two types of inheritance of PKD- autosomal recessive and dominant. In Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, one parent carries the mutated gene, and there is a 50% chance that each of his children will have the disease. In the autosomal dominant form (ADPKD), symptoms usually develop between the ages 30-40.

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Signs & symptoms

Polycystic kidney disease symptoms include high blood pressure, back pain, flank pain, blood in urine, fullness in the abdomen, abdominal expansion, headaches, kidney stones, urinary tract and kidney infections.


Diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease may be done with imaging of the kidneys, by US, CT scans or MRI.


Polycystic kidney disease treatment varies, depending on the severity of the disease. Often poeple with PKD reash end stage kidney disease within the ages 55-65, but not always. Treatment may include medications for slowing the cyst growth, medications for controlling blood pressure, antibiotics for infections, eating a healthy diet, salt intake restriction, staying hydrated, blood pressure control and avoiding medications such as NSAIDS. When reaching renal failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant are required.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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