Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic disease of the kidneys is a hereditary disorder during which a lot of cysts are created in both kidneys which tend to expand and grow, but have a lesser percentage of functional kidney tissue. The genetic disorder causing this condition to happen can be either dominant or recessive; in other words, the patient with this disease has inherited one dominate gene or two recessive ones from both parents. Those individuals with the dominant gene inherited usually do not show any symptoms of polycystic kidney disease until later in life, while individuals who got the disease with two recessive genes show signs of the disease early in childhood.


With children, this kidney disease causes a significant enlargement of the kidneys, causing the belly to swell up. Severely diseased newborns may die soon after delivery as kidney failure in fetus can lead towards bad lung development. With this condition even the liver is affected so with 5-10 years in baby’s life this disorder can develop high blood pressure in the main blood vessel connecting intestines and liver. Finally, failure of kidney and liver may occur.

With grown people this kidney disease advances slowly, taking years to fully develop. Typically, symptoms will begin in early or middle age, even though the disease may even be diagnosed after death, during autopsy. Symptoms sometimes cause pain and discomfort in chest, blood in urine, infection and strong pain similar to kidney stones, as the individual has a lower percentage of functional kidney tissue. Kidney failure can become worse if there is a chronic infection of it, which is a common problem. About one half of cases with this disease are experiencing high blood pressure during diagnosis.

Diagnosis, prognosis and treatment

Doctor will doubt this disease if there is a family history of it as well as all of the symptoms that come with it. When the disease has advanced, and the kidneys are fairly enlarged, the diagnosis is quick and obvious. Ultrasound and CT can discover a characteristic form of kidneys and liver, as if they were eaten up by bugs, which is a consequence of cyst presence.

With over 50% of patients suffering from this condition, kidney failure is expected. Treating of the infections of the urinary system and high blood pressure may increase the life span of the patient. Kidney failure is fatal if the patient is not attending dialysis, or if he or she doesn’t receive a kidney transplant.

Treatment is symptomatic as it is still not possible to prevent the cysts from developing and growing. As the cardiovascular complications are the main cause of death, it is necessary to treat high blood pressure. In the early stage of the disease, a reduction of salt intake is recommended. With the compromised kidney function diuretics are commonly used for treatment. Urinary infection requires energetic treatment, as it is resilient and needs antibiotics of high concentration to really get into the cyst bodies so that they can be properly treated.

About the author

Rani Vyas

Rani Vyas

I'm a Medical Consultant Doctor with a keen interest in Medical bioinformatics and genuinely intriguing way of presenting boring medical knowledge in an enchanting and eye catching way.

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