Polycystic kidney disease

The autosomal dominant form of polycystic kidney disease is characterized by either unilaterally or bilaterally enlarged kidneys with cystic degeneration. At this stage, the kidneys often exhibit simple cysts and complex cysts at the same time.

Patients with polycystic kidney disease often also reveal cystic changes of the pancreas, spleen, or the liver. In patients suffering from autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, there is no increased risk of renal cell carcinoma. In contrast, patients who suffer from acquired polycystic kidney disease are at a higher risk of developing renal cell carcinoma.

These patients are often on hemodialysis. After 3 years on hemodialysis, on the other hand, up to 50% of all patients reveal polycystic kidney changes. With increasing time of hemodialysis, the incidence of polycystic kidneys changes is increasing steadily.

Therefore, these patients need to be followed closely since in up to 8% a renal cell carcinoma will develop in these cystic changes.

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