Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a genetic disease, which occurs when cysts form on the kidneys and interfere with normal kidney function. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no signs or symptoms of kidney problems, so the disease can go unnoticed. Physical checkups and blood and urine tests may not lead to early diagnosis. Once cysts have grown to about one-half inch, however, diagnosis is possible.
When making a Polycystic Kidney Disease diagnosis, the doctor may ask a
number of questions associated with the medical history, other medical
conditions you may have and whether you have a family history of any conditions,
including PKD. Besides, certain tests can be performed to detect the size and
number of kidney cysts as well as evaluate the kidney function.
● Other imaging tests
More powerful and expensive imaging procedures, such as computed tomography (CT scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), can also detect cysts. Recently, MRI has been used to measure kidney and cyst volume and monitor kidney and cyst growth, which may serve as a way to track progression of the disease.
● Ultrasound examination
This a common diagnostic method, in which sound waves passes through the body
to create a picture of the kidneys. Ultrasound imaging does not use any injected
dyes or radiation, so it is safe for all patients, including pregnant women.
● Genetic testing
This test can help us detect mutations in the autosomal dominant PKD genes,
called PKD1 and PKD2. However, its usefulness is limited by two factors; it
cannot predict the onset of symptoms or ultimate severity of the disease, and no
specific prevention or cure of the disease is available. On the other hand, this
test can help a young person detect the gene mutation, so he may be able to
prevent the disease through diet and blood pressure control.
Only with accurate diagnosis, can we treat Polycystic Kidney Disease
accordingly, so patients had better make the above knowledge clear.