Abdominal sonographic study of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

J Clin Ultrasound. Jul-Aug 2000;28(6):277-82. doi: 10.1002/1097-0096(200007/08)28:6<277::aid-jcu2>3.0.co;2-l.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether kidney size in patients who have autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is related to renal function, hypertension, or extrarenal manifestations of the disease and to sonographically evaluate the abdominal manifestations of ADPKD.

Methods: Between 1994 and 1998, 400 individuals from 85 families with a history of ADPKD were examined. There were 213 persons with ADPKD and 187 unaffected family members; there were 182 males and 218 females, 1-82 years old (mean, 39.3 years). We obtained a complete medical history, performed a physical examination, measured the arterial blood pressure and serum creatinine levels, and performed abdominal sonography on each subject. The sonographic features that were studied were renal length and the presence and number of cysts on the kidneys, liver, and pancreas.

Results: There was a relationship between kidney size and age (p < 0.05), kidney size and renal function (p < 0.001), and kidney size and hypertension (p < 0.001). The overall prevalence of hepatic cysts in patients with ADPKD was 67%, and the prevalence increased with age. The presence of hepatic cysts was related to the severity of renal disease. Females had more severe polycystic liver disease, and massive polycystic liver disease (ie, hepatomegaly with innumerable cysts) was seen only in females. The prevalence of pancreatic cysts in the 187 persons in whom the pancreas was well evaluated sonographically was 5%.

Conclusions: Kidney size in patients with ADPKD is related to renal function, hypertension, and extrarenal involvement and can be used to predict the outcome of the disease. Hepatic cysts are very common in patients with ADPKD and are related to age and renal function; pancreatic cysts are infrequent in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Infant
  • Kidney / anatomy & histology*
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / diagnostic imaging*
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / pathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Ultrasonography