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Polycystic Kidneys

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited kidney disorder that enlarges the kidneys and interferes with kidney function due to multiple cysts on the kidneys.

In early stages of the disease, the cysts enlarge the kidney and interfere with kidney function, resulting in chronic high blood pressure and kidney infections. The cysts may cause the kidneys to increase production of erythropoietin (the hormone that stimulates production of red blood cells) resulting in too many red blood cells, rather than the expected anemia of chronic kidney disease.

The disease progresses slowly, ultimately causing end-stage kidney disease in which dialysis and transplantation are the only forms of treatment.

PKD comes in two forms. Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) is the most common, affecting 1-in-400 to 1-in-500 adults. Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD) is far less common, affecting 1-in-10,000 at a far younger age, including newborns, infants and children.




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