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What are the different types of polycystic kidney disease (PKD)?

There are three main types of polycystic kidney disease (PKD):

Autosomal dominant PKD (PKD or ADPKD). This form of the disease is passed from parent to child by dominant inheritance. In other words, only one copy of the abnormal gene is needed to cause the disease. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 30 and 40, but they can begin earlier, even in childhood. ADPKD is the most common form of PKD. In fact, about 90% of all PKD cases are ADPKD.

Infantile or autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD). This form of the disease is also passed from parent to child by recessive inheritance. Symptoms can begin in the earliest months of life, even in the womb. It tends to be very serious, progresses rapidly, and is often fatal in the first few months of life. This form of ARPKD is extremely rare. It occurs in one out of 25,000 people.

Acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD). ACKD can happen in kidneys with long-term damage and severe scarring, so it is often associated with kidney failure and dialysis. About 90% of people on dialysis for five years develop ACKD. People with ACKD usually seek help because they notice blood in their urine. This is because the cysts bleed into the urinary system.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.