Polycystic Kidney Disease Essay

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Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder categorized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys. Said cysts are filled with fluid and slowly replace most of the mass of the kidneys. This inevitably reduces kidney function and eventually leads to kidney failure. When PKD causes the kidneys to fail, which typically happens after many years, the patient requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. Approximately one-half of the people with the major form of PKD advance to kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease. Approximately 500,000 people in the US have PKD and is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure. PKD can cause cysts to grow in the liver and in other organs; i.e. the heart and blood vessels in the brain. These complications assist doctors in distinguishing PKD from mostly harmless cysts that can form on kidneys later in life.…show more content…
Due to this, autosomal dominant PKD is often referred to as “Adult Polycystic Kidney Disease.” In most cases, the person’s physical condition appears to be normal and the disease goes unnoticed. Even physical checkups, urine, and blood tests possibly won’t lead to a diagnosis. Leaving the disease to slowly progress undetected. Nonetheless, some cases have cysts that appear earlier, even in the first couple years of life. Some symptoms of autosomal dominant PKD are; UTIs, blood in the urine, abnormal heart valves, high blood pressure, and kidney stones. In order to diagnose autosomal dominant PKD a doctor will typically observe three or more cysts on the kidneys using an ultrasound image. The diagnosis can be strengthened the presence of cysts in other organs and a family history of the disease. Due to its slow nature diagnosis with imaging technology isn’t possible until the cysts have formed on the kidneys. In the future, DNA tests will be able to confirm a diagnosis of autosomal dominant PKD before any cysts

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