Cystic kidney disease (CKD) describes a group of conditions that cause cysts (fluid-filled sacs) to form in or around the kidneys. Kidney cysts can prevent the kidneys from filtering water and waste out of your blood. Cystic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.
There are several types of CKD. Some are the result of mutations (changes) to certain genes that are usually inherited (passed from parents to children). Others may develop during a person’s lifetime, or they might be congenital (present at birth). Cysts can also appear in the kidney later in life.
What are some genetic cystic kidney diseases?
Genetic cystic kidney diseases include:
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD): Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common form of cystic kidney disease in adults. It’s usually diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50. Another type of PKD is autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). It causes abnormal kidney development in the womb or soon after birth. ARPKD is rare.
Glomerulocystic kidney disease (GCKD): GCKD causes cysts and enlargement of the space in the kidneys near the urinary tract. It’s very uncommon but can affect infants or adults.
Medullary cystic kidney disease (MCKD): MCKD causes cysts to develop in the corticomedullary (inner) part of the kidneys. It leads to inflammation and scarring of the tubes that help the kidneys filter waste.
Nephronophthisis: This condition is very similar to MCKD, but it affects infants, children and teenagers. It usually leads to kidney failure before adulthood.