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Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disease where cysts appear on the kidneys. It is one of the leading causes of kidney failure in the US.



  • PKD is the 4th leading cause for kidney failure in the US.
  • While there is currently not a cure, there are ways to treat and slow the impact of the condition.

What is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)? 


Polycystic Kidney Disease, also often referred to as just PKD, is a genetic disease in which there are numerous cysts typically on both kidneys and the kidneys tend to be very large in size. PKD over time can cause a decrease in kidney function. Many patients with PKD also have high blood pressure as well. If you are concerned that you may have PKD or if you have a family member affected by PKD it is advised to see a nephrologist.

People with PKD may have cysts in their liver, pancreas, spleen, ovaries, and large bowel. PKD can also affect the brain and heart in some patients. Currently PKD is the 4th leading cause for kidney failure in the USA and affects about 600,000 people in this country.

Symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease  


Common symptoms of polycystic kidney disease include:

  • Back or side pain
  • An increase in the size of the abdomen
  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent bladder or kidney infections
  • High blood pressure

What to Expect from Treatment of Polycystic Kidney Disease 


Though there is no cure for PKD but there are strategies and medication that can slow the rate of kidney damage. Options should be discussed with your nephrologist.


Polycystic Kidney Disease

Go to National Kidney Foundation

PKD Guide from the National Institute of Health

Go to NIH.gov

PKD Foundation

Go to pkd.org

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