Polycystic kidney disease – Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder characterized by growth of numerous cysts in the kidney. These cysts are round balloon like structures filled with fluid. Small numbers of cysts can occur normally in the kidney but in polycystic kidney disease there may be hundreds of cysts in each kidney.
These cysts can profoundly enlarge the kidneys while replacing much of the normal structure, resulting in reduced kidney function and leading to kidney failure. When kidney failure occurs, the patient requires dialysis or kidney transplantation.
Also, polycystic kidney disease can cause cysts in the liver and problems in other organs, such as blood vessels in the brain and heart.
There are two forms of polycystic kidney disease, they include:
• Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease: which is the most common inherited form (90% of cases), its symptoms usually develop in the 4th and 5th decades of life, but they can begin developing earlier during childhood.
• Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease: which is rare form; its symptoms usually develop very early within the first months of life.
The standard clinical picture of polycystic kidney disease includes:
• Backache especially in both sides.
• Headache usually due to hypertension.
• Urinary tract infection.
• Hematuria, which means blood in urine.
To diagnose polycystic kidney disease you should examine family history especially genetic ones. After that diagnosis is confirmed by pelvi-abdominal ultrasound.
Actually there is no absolute cure for polycystic kidney disease, but therapeutic measures should include; antihypertensive drugs, antibiotics to resolve infections. On the other dialysis or kidney transplantation can be effective therapeutic solution.