Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most frequent life- threatening, hereditary disease. ADPKD is more common than sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, Down's syndrome, and Huntington's disease combined. ADPKD is a multisystemic disorder characterized by the progressive development of renal cysts and marked renal enlargement. Structural and functional renal deterioration occurs in ADPKD patients and is the fourth leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in adults. Aside from the renal manifestations, extrarenal structural abnormalities, such as liver cysts, cardiovascular abnormalities, and intracranial aneurysms may lead to morbidity and mortality. Recent studies have identified prognostic factors for progressive renal impairment including gender, race, age, proteinuria, hematuria, hypertension and increased left ventricular mass index (LVMI). Early diagnosis and better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease provides the opportunity to aggressivly treat hypertension with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors and thereby potentially reduce LVMI, prevent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and slow progression of the renal disease.
Keywords: cerebral aneurysms; hypertension; left ventricular hypertrophy; liver cysts; renal pain.