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Polycystic Kidney Disease

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Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease
Classification and external resources
Polycystic kidneys
ICD-10 Q61
ICD-9 753.1
OMIM 173900
DiseasesDB 10262 10280
MedlinePlus 000502
eMedicine med/1862 ped/1846 radio/68 radio/69
MeSH D007690

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD or PCKD, also known as polycystic kidney syndrome) is a cystic genetic disorder of the kidneys.[1] There are two types of PKD: autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and the less-common autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD).

It occurs in humans and some other animals. PKD is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts (hence, "polycystic") typically in both kidneys; however 17% of cases initially present with observable disease in one kidney, with most cases progressing to bilateral disease in adulthood.[2] The cysts are numerous and are fluid-filled, resulting in massive enlargement of the kidneys. The disease can also damage the liver, pancreas and, in some rare cases, the heart and brain. The two major forms of polycystic kidney disease are distinguished by their patterns of inheritance.

Polycystic kidney disease is one of the most common life-threatening genetic diseases, affecting an estimated 12.5 million people worldwide.[3]


Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD, is a blanket term for the two types of PKD, each having their own pathology and causes. These two types of PKD are autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD).

Autosomal dominant

CT scan showing autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common of all the hereditary cystic kidney diseases[2][4][5] with an incidence of 1:500 live births.[2][5] Studies show that 10% of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients being treated with hemodialysis in Europe and the U.S. were initially diagnosed and treated for ADPKD.[2] ADPKD does not appear to demonstrate a preference for any particular ethnicity.

ADPKD is characterized by progressive cyst development and bilaterally enlarged kidneys with multiple cysts. There are three genetic mutations in the PKD-1, PKD-2, and PKD3 gene with similar phenotypical presentations. Gene PKD-1 is located on chromosome 16 and codes for a protein involved in regulation of cell cycle and intracellular calcium transport in epithelial cells, and is responsible for 85% of the cases of ADPKD. A group of voltage-linked calcium channels are coded for by PKD-2 on chromosome 4. PKD3 recently appeared in research papers as a postulated third gene. At this time, PKD3 has not been proven.[2][4] Fewer than 10% of cases of ADPKD appear in non-ADPKD families.

Cyst formation begins in utero from any point along the nephron, although fewer than 5% of nephrons are thought to be involved. As the cysts accumulate fluid, they enlarge, separate entirely from the nephron, compress the neighboring renal parenchyma, and progressively compromise renal function.

Under the function of gene defect, epithelial cells of renal tubule turn into epithelial cells of cyst wall after phenotype change, and begin to have the function of secreting cyst fluid, which leads to continuous cysts enlargement.[6]

Autosomal recessive

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) (OMIM #263200) is the lesser common of the two types of PKD, with an incidence of 1:20,000 live births and is typically identified in the first few weeks after birth. Unfortunately, resulting hypoplasia results in a 30% death rate in neonates with ARPKD.[2] In ARPKD kidneys retain their shape but are larger than the normal anatomical range with dilated collecting ducts from the medulla to the cortex.


  1. ^ "polycystic kidney disease" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bisceglia, M; et al (2006). "Renal cystic diseases: a review". Advanced Anatomic Pathology (13): 26–56. 
  3. ^ Wilson PD. Polycystic kidney disease. N Engl J Med 2004;350:151-164
  4. ^ a b Torres, WE; Harris PC; Pirson Y (2007). "Autosomal dominant polycystic urology". Lancet 369 (9569): 1287–301.  
  5. ^ a b Simons, M; Walz G (2006). "Polycystic kidney disease: cell division with a c(l)ue?". Kidney International 70: 854–864.  
  6. ^ 梅长林,常染色体显性多囊肾病,肾脏病学,第三版,人民卫生出版社|year=2008,9|pages=1746

External links

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease Research and Education
  • The National Kidney Foundation: A to Z Health Guide
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