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What is polycystic kidney disease?

Polycystic kidneys are usually characterized by numerous cysts which contain urine like fluid and is usually seen in both kidneys.

What is the cause of polycystic kidney disease?

It is genetically determined disease. It is caused by abnormal gene on the chromosomes 16 which is called as autosomal dominant disease. The other mode of transmission is autosomal recessive and it is seen because of an abnormalities on chromosome No 6.

Can cysts be seen on other organs?

Yes. Cyst can be seen in the kidney, liver, brain the pancreas and even sometimes in the heart.

How does this disease come to a person’s attention?

The condition may be silent for years. Early symptoms that science may include back pain, blood in the urine, filling or fullness in the abdomen or abdominal mass may be felt. The patient may have urinary tract infections or stones.

Is there any form of treatment available to reverse these disease?

No. In polycystic kidney disease the treatment is usually supportive.

Can patients with PCKD be transplanted?

Yes. The patients with PCKD disease can be transplanted. It must be noted that if the kidney is too large at the time of transplantation they may need to be removed.

What imaging test is used to detect PCKD?

Ultrasound examination will usually reveal the presence of cysts in polycystic kidney disease and if necessary this can be even confirmed by doing a CT scan of the abdomen.

Can this disease be prevented?

Genetic counseling may help in the prevention of this disease in the autosomal dominant variety. Affected patients must be identified before the child bearing age for counseling to be effective. It is generally preferable to see a professional specialized in genetics for this purpose.

What is Alport’s Syndrome?

It is a genetically transmitted disease called as an X–linked disease which results in
  1. Renal failure
  2. Hearing loss
The disease is due to an abnormal collagen, which is a constituent of the basement membrane of the glomerular capillary.