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PKD Patients May Require Kidney Transplants

Elderly couple posing for their picture in swimming pool PKD, or polycystic kidney disease, is a condition that causes the growth of fluid-filled sacs called cysts on the kidneys. These noncancerous cysts increase the size of the kidney and may eventually lead to kidney failure. In some patients, a kidney transplant may be necessary. There are two types of PKD – autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (or ADPKD) and autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). The “dominant” and “recessive” terms used in these titles refer to the genetic origins of the condition; both types of PKD are genetically inherited, although ADPKD is significantly more common due to the nature of genetics. Both types also cause cysts during childhood, although ADPKD symptoms typically show up in adulthood, while ARPKD symptoms are often present at birth or shortly thereafter. Some of the symptoms associated with PKD include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain in the back or side
  • Development of kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infections (including kidney infections)

There are also potential complications related to these symptoms, such as cyst growth in the liver, heart valve problems, chronic pain, and aneurysms. There are some treatments available to address the symptoms, but as the kidneys’ ability to filter out waste products gradually deteriorates, a patient may require dialysis to replace the lost function. In certain circumstances, kidney transplant is the most appropriate treatment. Tampa General Hospital performs kidney transplants for people who have PKD and other serious kidney conditions that lead to kidney failure. To be considered by our kidney transplant program, patients must be referred by their physician or dialysis center through our referral form. Using the information on the Transplant Referral Form - along with other determining factors - our team can then decide whether a transplant is a suitable approach for a PKD patient.

For information about our transplant selection criteria for patients who have Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) -  please contact Tampa General Hospital’s Kidney Transplant Program at 1-800-505-7769 (press 5 to connect with our kidney transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-8686.