What Is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)?

A cyst is an abnormal growth consisting of fluid or semi-solid substance enclosed within a membrane sac. Such growths can arise in any part of the body, even the brains, and ovaries. They may appear individually or in groups. As in other organs, cysts can arise in the kidneys as well. However, in some individuals, there are a large number of kidney cysts and these are present in both kidneys. This condition is often inherited. In other words, this is a genetic disorder. It is known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

As PKD worsens, the kidneys become lesser and lesser able to carry out their normal functions. They grow abnormally large and heavy and eventually, the patient develops renal failure. In fact, PKD is one of the top causes of kidney failure. Despite the name, those with PKD may also develop cysts in other organs such as the liver, intestines, and pancreas.