Optimising the management of polycystic kidney disease

Practitioner. 2016 Feb;260(1790):13-6, 2.


Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is the most common inherited renal disorder that results in chronic kidney disease. PKD has an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. The prevalence is between 1:500 and 1:1,000. Up to 10% of adults with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have a genetic disorder such as PKD. A family history of PKD may be absent in up to 25% of affected individuals. The most common clinical features are visible haematuria, loin pain, UTI and hypertension. The typical clinical course is a progressive increase in the number and size of renal cysts associated with gradual loss of kidney function (falling eGFR). Risk factors for progression include: younger age at diagnosis; large kidney volume; rapid cyst growth; hypertension; male gender; and visible haematuria. Approximately 50% of individuals with PKD will require renal replacement therapy by the sixth decade of life. PKD is a multisystem disorder associated with multiple bilateral renal cysts, slowly increasing kidney size and progressive chronic kidney disease. Diagnosis of PKD is confirmed by ultrasound showing the presence of multiple kidney cysts. More than 80% will also have multiple liver cysts, which can lead to local pressure effects. Cerebral haemorrhage, secondary to rupture of a berry aneurysm, occurs in up to 8% of individuals. Mitral valve prolapse occurs in up to 25% of patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / genetics
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / therapy*
  • Young Adult