What is polycystic kidney disease?

Renal polycystosis is a genetic (autonomic-dominant) disease that manifests itself with the formation of multiple cysts in both kidneys. Progression of polycystic kidney disease leads to the development of chronic renal failure.

Types of polycystic kidney disease

Depending on the mode of inheritance, there are two variants of the disease:

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease — occurs between 30 and 50 years of age. Cysts in the liver, pancreas, aneurysms of cerebral arteries, diverticula of the colon, mitral valve insufficiency can also be observed.

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease — due to a defect in chromosome 6. Clinically manifested in early childhood. Combines with congenital liver fibrosis.

Symptoms of polycystic kidney disease

Many people do not have the typical symptoms of polycystic ovaries until they reach middle age. When symptoms begin, they may include:

  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • low back pain
  • back pains
  • blood in the urine
  • frequent nocturnal urination
  • high blood pressure
  • joint pain
  • painful menstruation
  • kidney infection
  • kidney stones

Diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease

To diagnose polycystic kidney disease, the following tests are performed:

Complete blood count — it identifies an increase in white blood cells, which may indicate an inflammatory process

General analysis of urine — it is possible to determine the presence of leukocytes — inflammatory cells, erythrocytes — blood cells, protein. Determination of the level of nitrogen toxins — creatinine, urea. At the level of their increase one can judge the development of renal failure.

Ultrasound — the diagnosis of polycystic ovaries is usually clear — shows many «bubbles» filled with fluid.

Computed tomography — to check for stones and infected cysts or masses in the liver, because cysts often appear not only in the kidneys but also in the liver.

Magnetic resonance imaging — to measure cysts and kidney volume, which is important for predicting the risk of progression to chronic renal failure.

Treatment of polycystic kidney disease

Treatment consists of adequate treatment of hypertension, prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections and the use of non-toxic to the kidneys drugs.

Drug treatment — the main goal is to slow the progression of renal failure. Medical treatment of arterial hypertension, urinary tract infection is carried out. A low-protein regime is observed in azotemia.

Surgical treatment — used in severe pain syndrome in connection with the significant size of the cysts, in the presence of kidney stones (kidney stone disease), with severe impaired renal function and inability to function optimally.

Dialysis treatment — is necessary in severely impaired renal function and inability to perform normal kidney processes and functions. There are two main types of renal dialysis:

  • hemodialysis (must be performed in the respective medical institution)
  • peritoneal dialysis (can be performed at the patient’s home

Dialysis provides purification of the blood from toxins and waste metabolic products, but is only a temporary solution, and is usually appointed until a suitable donor is found for a kidney transplant.

Kidney transplantation — in the final stages of the disease, kidney function is so severely impaired that an organ transplant with a suitable donor is required. Finding a compatible and suitable donor is a difficult task and until then dialysis is used to maintain the patient.