Polycystic Kidney Disease

Friday, May 06, 2011

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disease that causes normal kidney tissue to be replaced by fluid-filled cysts. Kidney failure eventually occurs over a 30 to 40 year period. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this disorder in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, tends to run in families. Sacs of fluid, called cysts, grow in the kidneys. They are like little water balloons. If too many cysts grow or if they get too big, the kidneys are damaged. The cysts may be painful or get infected.

Most people with PKD can lead a normal life. In some people, though, PKD can cause kidney failure. About one-half of people with PKD have kidney failure by age 60. These people may need to have dialysis or a kidney transplant.

PKD is usually worse in men, African Americans and people with sickle cell disease.

The most common sign of PKD is high blood pressure. Other symptoms can include pain in the back and side, blood in the urine and frequent kidney infections.

There is no way to treat cysts caused by PKD. If the cysts cause health problems, your doctor can treat your symptoms so you will be more comfortable.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.