Polycystic Kidney Disease Illustration

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disease that causes  fluid filled sacs called cysts to develop in the kidneys. Cyst development begins in the nephron, the filtering unit of the kidney, when a cell carrying the genetic mutation proliferates. The wall of the cyst is formed by proliferation of the mutated cell and cellular processes draw fluid into the cyst. The cyst continues to enlarge and eventually breaks away from the nephron. The growth of cysts causes the kidney to enlarge and disrupts kidney function. There are two types of PKD, autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive. Individuals with the autosomal dominant PKD tend to develop symptoms between the ages of 30-40, autosomal recessive PKD is rare and it causes symptoms to develop in utero or within the first months of life.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney disease lists PKD as the fourth leading cause of kidney failure. According the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation even though PKD is more common than the genetic conditions cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and Down’s syndrome there is very little public awareness about it. There is currently no cure for Polycystic kidney disease.

more about PKD




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10 Responses to “Polycystic Kidney Disease Illustration”

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