Kidney, polycystic

An inherited disorder in which both kidneys are affected by numerous cysts that gradually enlarge until most of the normal kidney tissue is destroyed. Polycystic kidney disease is distinguished from multiple simple kidney cysts, which occur commonly with age. There are 2 types of polycystic disease. The most common usually becomes apparent in middle age, producing abdominal swelling, pain, and blood in the urine. As the disease progresses, hypertension and kidney failure may result. The rare type causes enlargement of the kidneys and kidney failure in infants and young children. There is no effective treatment for preserving kidney function in either type, but symptoms of kidney failure can be treated by dialysis and kidney transplant.


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