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Home >> Specialities >> Kidney Transplant >> Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease

PKD, or Polycystic Kidney Disease, is a type of genetic/inherited disorder marked by the development of a cluster of cysts in the kidneys, leading to an abnormal increase in their size. Over a period, this results in the gradual loss of kidney function, giving rise to severe complications, including kidney failure. Unlike tumours, which are solid masses or lumps, these are tiny fluid-filled sacs that tend to grow very large. The severity of the condition varies from one patient to another; in some cases, it can even result in the development of cysts in the liver. 

What are the different types of Polycystic Kidney Disease?
Polycystic kidney disease is broadly classified into two types based on the onset of the symptoms and their progression.

  • Autosomal dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) - Earlier known as adult polycystic kidney disease, it is commonly seen in adults lying in the age group of 30 to 40 years. It is the most common type of PKD and can be easily passed on to a child if even one of the parents has it.
  • Autosomal recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD).- The symptoms of ARPKD manifest soon after birth, or in some cases, during adolescence. It can only be passed on to the child if both parents have it. 

What causes Polycystic Kidney Disease?
Polycystic Kidney Disease is passed from the parents to their children, i.e. it is an inherited disorder. This happens when one of the two parents, or both of them, passes on the defective gene that is responsible for it. The former is known as dominant inheritance, and the latter is called recessive inheritance. 

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease?
Various symptoms that could be an indication of polycystic kidney disease include:

  • Raised blood pressure 
  • Unusual pain in the back or side
  • Traces of blood in the urine
  • Bloating and fullness in the abdomen
  • Increased incidence of bladder or kidney infections

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