Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

    What Is Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease?

    Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) causes a lot of fluid-filled sacs, called cysts, to grow in your kidneys. The cysts keep your kidneys from working like they should. That can cause health problems like high blood pressure, infections, and kidney stones. It can also cause kidney failure, although that doesn't happen to everyone.

    You can have ADPKD and not know it for many years. It’s often called “adult PKD,” because the symptoms don't usually appear until people reach ages 30 to 40. But over time, ADPKD can start to damage your kidneys.

    Recommended Related to

    Goodpasture Syndrome

    Goodpasture syndrome is a rare but serious autoimmune disease that attacks the lungs and kidneys. The disease occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against collagen in the lungs and kidneys. Collagen is a protein that helps form connective tissue. Goodpasture syndrome initially causes vague symptoms such as fatigue. But it can rapidly involve the lungs and kidneys. It is almost always fatal if it is not quickly diagnosed and treated.

    Read the Goodpasture Syndrome article > >

    You can slow the damage and prevent some of the complications by making healthy habits part of your life. Depending on the type of ADPKD you have, you can lead an active life for many years by managing your symptoms and working with your doctor. There’s not a cure, but scientists are doing research to look for new treatments.

    Causes

    ADPKD is caused by a problem with one of two genes in your DNA -- PKD1 or PKD2. These genes make proteins in kidney cells that let them know when to grow. A problem with either gene causes kidney cells to grow out of control and form cysts.

    Many genetic diseases happen when a person gets broken genes from both parents, but with ADPKD you need only one faulty gene to have the disease. That's why this kind of PKD is called “autosomal dominant,” meaning only one parent has to pass on a broken gene.

    If one parent has the disease, each child has a 50-50 chance of getting it.

    You can get ADPKD even if neither of your parents had the disease. This happens when one of your PKD genes gets a defect on its own. But it’s rare for someone to get it this way.

    Symptoms

    Not everyone with ADPKD will have symptoms. Those who do may not notice anything for many years. Most people with the disease have high blood pressure. Urinary tract infections and kidney stones are also common.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.