Polycystic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a disease of the kidneys that causes multiple cysts to form on these organs. Polycystic kidney disease is also commonly known as PKD. The cysts that are associated with this disease are fluid filled sacs. They can grow and multiply to the extent that they increase kidney mass and cause the kidneys to malfunction and eventually fail.

This disease happens when one parent who carries a certain abnormal gene which can be passed down during conception. There are about 500,000 people who currently have this disease in the Untied Stats. This disease can afflict all ethnic groups and is not constricted to any certain group. There are actually two kinds of Polycystic Kidney Disease. Autosomal dominant , which is most commonly found in people who are 50 years of age or older and autosomal recessive which occurs in infants. The autosomal dominate is more common. It affects about 1 in every 500-1000 adults where as autsomal recessive only affects 1 in every 20,000-40,000 infants who are born. People who undergo years of kidney dialysis for other reasons can also sometimes develop a nonhereditary case of PKD. However, these cases are rare.

As the dominate form of the disease progresses the kidneys can become enlarged and pain in the back or sides is experienced. Bleeding into the cysts can occasionally happen. Common symptoms of PKD include tenderness and pain in the abdomen and blood in the urine. A doctor may sometimes actually be able to feel the enlarged kidneys when doing a routine abdominal exam. The person may experience the need to make several bathroom trips during the night. There may be pain on one side or both sides of the lower back. High blood pressure, drowsiness, joint pain and nail abnormalities are other symptoms. Women may experience painful menstruation because of polycystic kidney disease. Urinary tract infections are common as well as the fever and chills that are typical of any kind of infection in the body.

Unfortunately there is no known cure for polycystic kidney disease. People who have this disease should go in for regular check ups. A diagnosis is made after careful examination and certain testing for it that can include a CT scan or an MRI to detect the presence of kidney cysts. Repeat testing can reveal enlargement of the kidneys to see how far the disease has developed. Blood tests can also be done to check the level of kidney function. High blood pressure and heart conditions are also commonly found in a person who has polycystic kidney disease too and the patient can be treated for those conditions.

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease is less common and appears in infants at birth. It usually leads to the cause of infant death during the first month of life. Children born with this disease usually are born with enlarged kidneys and produce very little urine output as well as liver problems in utero. The low urine output during the fetal stage can also cause there to be a reduction in amniotic fluid which in turn can cause damage to the development of the lungs. Newborn infants born with damaged lungs typically have trouble breathing which can cause death in newborns also. Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder that affects both male and female infants. Enlarged kidneys in the embryo can be discovered before birth during a prenatal ultrasound test. The ultrasound test can reveal it as soon as 18 weeks after conception.

Older people who have autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease usually reach the stage of kidney failure by about the age of 60. They will usually have to be put on kidney dialysis for the rest of their life or at least until a kidney transplant can be performed.

Last updated on Apr 15th, 2010 and filed under Genitourinary Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed