Purpose: We document the inheritance pattern of multicystic dysplastic kidney in 3 affected families and screen first-degree relatives of a cohort of children with prenatally detected multicystic dysplastic kidney for renal anomalies. The study also afforded an opportunity to document the natural history of prenatally detected multicystic dysplastic kidney.
Materials and methods: We identified 3 families during clinical treatment of children with prenatally detected multicystic dysplastic kidneys. Other members of these families were evaluated with renal ultrasonography. For the family screening study index cases were identified from a fetal uropathy database. A total of 94 first-degree relatives (52 parents, 35 full siblings and 7 half siblings) of 29 children with prenatally detected multicystic dysplastic kidneys were studied with urinary tract ultrasonography, blood pressure measurement, urinalysis and plasma biochemistry.
Results: Two families had affected sibling pairs, 1 of which also had a half sibling with vesicoureteral reflux. The third family included 3 individuals with multicystic dysplastic kidney and 1 with renal agenesis thought to have resulted from involution of multicystic dysplastic kidney. This family is consistent with autosomal dominant inheritance with variable expressivity and reduced penetrance. In the screening study ultrasonography did not demonstrate significant renal anomalies in any of the 94 first-degree relatives of the multicystic dysplastic kidney index cases. Followup assessment of prenatally detected multicystic dysplastic kidneys in index cases demonstrated total involution in 52% at a median age of 6.5 years with no multicystic dysplastic kidney related morbidity.
Conclusions: Multicystic dysplastic kidney can be familial but is most commonly a sporadic anomaly. Formal screening of relatives is not recommended. Followup data on a cohort of children with prenatally detected multicystic dysplastic kidney add further support to conservative management.