Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a disorder in which numerous groups of cysts develop within the inner outline of the kidneys. Cysts are noncancerous lesions which are rounded and fluid-filled.
Polycystic Kidney Disease may occur in different bodily organs aside from the kidneys, although kidneys are the most commonly associated with severe affectation of the disease. PKD could also lead to the development of cysts to the liver and in other organs of the body.
Common complications of polycystic kidney disease include hypertension, although kidney failure could also arise from people with polycystic kidney disease.
Polycystic kidney disease could vary widely in its severity, and some of the known complications could be prevented through proper treatment and referral. Lifestyle modifications and medical interventions could help reduce kidney tissue damage from complications such as hypertension.
At present, polycystic kidney disease is considered one of the most frequently inherited disorders; it affects approximately 600,000 Americans and a total of 12,000,000 of the world’s population. Most clients fall from the autosomal dominant type of the disease. It is the fourth leading cause of renal failure and 10% of all end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the age range is usually clients 40 to 60 years old. It equally affects any gender and race.
Symptoms of polycystic kidney disease may include:
It is possible for people to have polycystic kidney disease for a long period of time without manifesting any signs and symptoms which make them remain unknowledgeable of their current condition.
If any of the given signs and symptoms begin to manifest, it is recommended that one have a visit to his/her doctor in order for them to be appropriately diagnosed. It is recommended to discuss the screening process to the physician, especially if the client is a first-degree relative to another client diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease.
Cysts are benign (noncancerous) lesions; they are sac-like and contain water-like fluid. They vary in size and they can grow extremely large as they begin to accumulate more fluid. A normal kidney weighs one-third pound or less (approximately three-quarters of a kilogram), while a kidney affected with a number of cysts could weigh as much as 30 pounds.
Abnormal genes cause polycystic kidney disease, and the disease being genetic, means it runs hereditarily through the family tree. Genetic mutation could also be a cause of polycystic kidney disease, but this are just in rare cases. There are two types of polycystic kidney disease, each caused by different genetic abnormalities:
Research and studies have identified two genes associated with ADPKD and one associated with ARPKD.
There are cases where a client with ADPKD has no family history of the said disease. It is also possible, however, that an affected member of the family had the disease but did not manifest any signs or symptoms before dying of complications or other causes. In a rare percentage of cases where no familial risk is present, ADKD results from a spontaneous gene mutation.
Diagnostic techniques are available to identify the size and number of kidney cysts as well as to assess the amount of normal kidney tissue.
The treatment of polycystic kidney disease is symptomatic, and is also driven to prevent or treat its complications.
In clients with polycystic kidney disease who are considering having offspring, they could ask the help of genetic counselors to help in assessing their risk of passing the disease to their next generation.
Keeping the kidneys physiologically normal as possible may help in preventing complications of the disease. One intervention is blood pressure management.