Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder where clusters of cysts develop within the kidneys, causing the kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. The cysts, which are noncancerous sacs containing fluid, vary in size, and they can grow to be large. This disorder can occur in children and adults.
The two main types of polycystic kidney disease, caused by different genetic flaws, are:
Polycystic kidney disease also can cause cysts to develop in the liver and elsewhere in the body. The disease can cause serious complications, including high blood pressure and kidney failure.
The disease varies greatly in its severity, and some complications from polycystic kidney disease are preventable. Lifestyle changes and treatments might help reduce damage to the kidneys from complications, but long-term interventions, including dialysis or kidney transplant, are sometimes needed.
On this special Ask the Mayo Mom edition of the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, host Dr. Angela Mattke is joined by Dr. Christian Hanna, a pediatric nephrologist with Mayo Clinic Children’s Center to discuss PKD in children.