Polycystic kidney disease: a 2011 update

Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2012 Mar;21(2):189-94. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e32835011a7.


Purpose of review: The review will examine clinically relevant advances in the area of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), mainly focusing on autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Discussion will focus on predicting the course of ADPKD, clinical trials and new research endeavors.

Recent findings: During the past several years PKD research has been one of the most prolific areas in investigative nephrology. Research endeavors have focused on decreasing cyst proliferation and cyst fluid formation based on an understanding of the pathophysiology of these processes. If cysts can be prevented from growing, kidney function can be better preserved.

Summary: Progression of this most common inherited kidney disorder can be altered by understanding that cysts are the disease in ADPKD. Assessing total kidney volume and noting its relationship to glomerular filtration rate is key in predicting the course of the disease and will aid in the evaluation of the new research initiatives that are designed to stop cyst proliferation and fluid secretion into the kidney cysts. The role of biomarkers is an advancement in predicting PKD progression and can potentially be used in evaluation of treatments for this disease. Complications of PKD alter the course and prognosis; hence management approaches will be addressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzazepines / therapeutic use
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Everolimus
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Indazoles / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use
  • Organ Size
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / complications
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / drug therapy*
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / pathology*
  • Sirolimus / analogs & derivatives
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use
  • Sodium / urine
  • Tolvaptan


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzazepines
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Indazoles
  • Tolvaptan
  • Metformin
  • Everolimus
  • Sodium
  • Curcumin
  • Octreotide
  • lonidamine
  • Sirolimus