The spectrum of polycystic kidney disease in children

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2011 Sep;18(5):339-47. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2011.05.001.


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) are important inherited kidney diseases with distinct clinical features and genetics. Although these diseases have classically been considered "adult" (ADPKD) or "infantile/pediatric" (ARPKD), it is now clear that both diseases can present in children and adults. ADPKD and ARPKD also share important pathophysiologic features, including cilia dysfunction. ADPKD is a systemic disease involving cysts in the kidneys and abdominal organs as well as abnormalities in the heart and vasculature. Although it typically presents in adults, ADPKD has been diagnosed in fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents. The majority of children diagnosed with ADPKD are asymptomatic. Those with symptoms typically present with hypertension or gross hematuria. Routine screening for renal cysts in asymptomatic children who have a parent with ADPKD is generally not recommended. ARPKD is a disorder confined to the kidneys (polycystic kidneys) and liver (a developmental biliary lesion called congenital hepatic fibrosis). Although most children with ARPKD present in infancy with large, echogenic kidneys, a subset present later in childhood and even adulthood, primarily with complications related to the liver disease. As more patients with ARPKD survive to adulthood, these liver complications are likely to become more prevalent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Hematuria / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / congenital
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / complications
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / genetics
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / physiopathology*
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Recessive / complications
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Recessive / genetics
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Recessive / physiopathology*
  • Prognosis