Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a hereditary disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to form in the nephrons of the kidneys. These cysts can grow so large and so numerous that they crowd out the normal kidney tissue, rendering the kidneys unable to function normally. Damage to the kidneys is caused by structural deformities caused by the enlarging cysts as well as by elevations in blood pressure (hypertension). Cysts can also form in other organs such as the liver.
PKD affects approximately 600,000 persons in the United States. It is one of the most common hereditary diseases and the fourth leading cause of kidney failure. It seems to affect all races and both genders equally.
Persons with autosomal dominant PKD often exhibit no symptoms and the disease can not be diagnosed by routine blood work in its early stages. Therefore, persons may have the disease for years before it is diagnosed. Once cysts have formed, they can be seen with noninvasive ultrasound imaging.
There is no cure for PKD. Medications or surgery may be used for pain control, to reduce blood pressure and for the treatment of infection. Dialysis is usually eventually necessary to perform functions (removal of toxins from the blood) that the kidneys are no longer able to do. Kidney transplant may be an option for persons with advanced PKD.
The Medifocus Guide on Polycystic Kidney Disease provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of polycystic kidney disease?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing polycystic kidney disease?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of polycystic kidney disease?
What treatment options are available for the management of polycystic kidney disease?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in polycystic kidney disease?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for polycystic kidney disease?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about polycystic kidney disease?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Renal cell carcinoma in cases of adult polycystic kidney disease: changing diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Urologia Internationalis. 2000
Complications of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease in hemodialysis patients. Seminars in Dialysis. 2000
Perinatal differential diagnosis of cystic kidney disease and urinary tract obstruction: anatomic pathologic, ultrasonographic and genetic findings. 2000
Digital glomerular reconstruction in a patient with a sporadic adult form of glomerulocystic kidney disease. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2000
Unilateral renal cystic disease. Urology. 1999
Traumatic hematuria in patients with polycystic kidney disease. American Surgeon. 1999
Pathophysiology and clinical management of polycystic kidney disease in women. Seminars in Nephrology. 1999
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease associated with familial sensorineural deafness. Scandinavian Journal of Urology & Nephrology. 1999
Outcome and cost analysis of operative versus nonoperative management of neonatal multicystic dysplastic kidneys. Journal of Urology. 1998
New insights into polycystic kidney disease and its treatment. Current Opinion in Nephrology & Hypertension. 1998
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