• Science Saturday: Confronting polycystic kidney disease, a silent killer

an image on a screen of two kidneys, one in red and the other in green, showing use of artificial intelligence in researching polycystic kidney disease

Researchers at the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Center at Mayo Clinic now use artificial intelligence (AI) to assess total kidney volume, generating results in a matter of seconds. The goal is to help diagnose PKD.

When Fouad Chebib, M.D., was 16 years old, his father sat him and his sister down and told them he had polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The kidneys of people with the condition become jammed with dense, fluid-filled sacs, causing them to increase in size and decrease in function. His father's kidneys were already failing, and he would soon have to begin dialysis. Eventually, his father's only hope for survival would come from a kidney transplant, a long shot in their home country of Lebanon.

Rattled by the news, the younger Chebib logged on to their family computer to dig up all he could about his father's illness.

"I learned that Mayo Clinic is the best place to be for polycystic kidney disease," he said. "I decided right then that I'm going to cure this disease. I'm going to become a PKD nephrologist at Mayo Clinic."

Twenty-five years later, Dr. Chebib is a proud member of the large, multidisciplinary team at Mayo Clinic that remains the leader in PKD research. Their work continues to build the foundation of knowledge around this life-threatening illness while also developing innovations to advance care for the more than 1 in 1,000 people affected worldwide.

Over the next decade, those advances may enable clinicians to predict the disease before it starts and treat it with new medications. The goal? To make dialysis and kidney transplant for PKD a thing of the past.

Read the rest of the article on the Discovery's Edge blog.


Other Mayo Clinic medical research websites:

Related articles