Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder of the kidneys that involves autosomal dominant polycystic disease, and occurs in both humans and animals. PKD involves multiple cysts that occur typically in both kidneys, and is characterized by cases that present themselves due to genetic reasons and other autosomal issues.
PKD is one of the most common genetic diseases that is life-threatening, and it is estimated that it affects roughly 13 million people worldwide every year. The disease can cause major damage to the liver, pancreas, and heart and brain in addition to the issues it causes in the kidneys, and can be a terminal disease if it is not treated adequately and quickly.
The causes of PKD are genetic in its source, as they involve autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive genes that grow into PKD from birth and childhood. They are hereditary disorders that are estimated at an incidence of 1 to 2 in every 1,000 live births, and it does not show any sort of preference for any gender, ethnicity, or other identifying demographic category.
Cyst formations here begin early, typically before the baby’s birth, as the gene is passed on from the mother during pregnancy. As the cysts accumulate fluid after birth, they become progressively more damaging and can spread to other organs, enlarging without secreting fluid, and causing damage to the new born. Death rates can be higher than 30% in cases involving autosomal PKD.
Symptoms of PKD are unknown, as many of the issues manifest themselves entirely before birth. As such, it is difficult to find PKD in a newborn except for clinical trials and tests, or genetic tests on mother and baby. Otherwise, PKD must be dealt with quickly to avoid the terminal issues and complications.
PKD is a significant kidney disease that can permanently affect the quality of life of people who deal with the disorder, and the cysts can have a very serious affect on the internal organs if left untreated. It is critical that medical professionals immediately and swiftly perform surgeries and other medical treatment to help those with PKD avoid serious complications from the disorder that would otherwise lead to death.
While millions of people are affected by PKD, it is possible to treat it, and the medical community is currently researching possible future treatments to improve the outlook for those suffering from polycystic kidney disease.