Causes Of Acquired Cystic Kidney Disease: Symptoms & Treatment

Acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD) is the condition in which fluid filled sac develops in kidney over a period of time. It mainly occurs in those people who are suffering from chronic kidney disease or end stage kidney disease. The cysts can be small or as large as 2 to 3 cm in diameter. The incidence of ACKD is more common in people suffering from chronic kidney disease who are on regular dialysis. At least 90 per cent of patients who are on dialysis for more than 8 years are known to develop ACKD.

The exact cause of acquired cystic kidney disease is not known but it is not inherited or genetic in origin. In ACKD the cyst develops only in kidney. In majority of cases the cysts does not produce any symptoms and are harmless. However, sometimes there may be infection in cyst which may be accompanied with fever and back pain.

Occasionally the cyst may bleed giving rise to red colored urine. Acquired cystic kidney disease is diagnosed with ultrasound, CT scan and MRI scan. Uncomplicated ACKD generally does not require any treatment. In case of infection antibiotics are beneficial.

If the cyst is large and painful the surgeon will drain the fluid.

What Causes Acquired Cystic Kidney Disease?

As the name suggests acquired cystic kidney disease is acquired and not hereditary or genetic in origin. The exact cause of ACKD is not known. But the condition is mostly observed in men and women suffering from chronic kidney disease. The cyst develops over a period of time. It occurs in adults as well as children.

Actually it is not the dialysis but the kidney failure that is responsible for formation of cyst in the kidney. Dialysis is the procedure that is performed to remove the waste from the body when kidney is not functioning. Although dialysis filters out most of the waste from the blood, it is not able to remove all the waste product which a normal kidney can remove.

This unidentified waste that cannot be removed with dialysis results in formation of kidney cyst in people having chronic kidney disease or end stage renal disease. Acquired cystic kidney disease is more common in people who suffer from chronic kidney disease since many years. For example 90 percent of people who are on dialysis for more than 8 years are known to develop ACKD.

Symptoms Of Acquired Cystic Kidney Disease

Acquired cystic kidney disease does not produce any symptoms normally. However, complications may arise from ACKD. The symptoms may be those of complications. One of the complications that is commonly observed in people suffering from ACKD is infection of the cyst. If the cyst gets infected, patient suffers from fever, pain in back.

If the patient having acquired cystic kidney disease complains of red urine, that is blood in urine, it is suggestive that the cyst in kidney has burst and is bleeding. Blood seeps out from the cyst and passes through urine. A large kidney cyst may be appreciated as a lump in abdomen when palpated. Too much bleeding can lead to anemia.

In rare cases the cyst may become cancerous leading to kidney cancer. The cancer if at all occurs in the renal tubules of kidney. Tubules are the structures inside the kidney where the actual process of filtration takes place. Kidney cancer is more common in people having acquired cystic kidney disease than isolated cases of kidney cancer.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Acquired Cystic Kidney Disease

Diagnosis of acquired cystic kidney disease is possible with the help of ultrasound examination, CT scan of kidney and MRI imaging technique. Medical history of chronic kidney failure and long standing dialysis are key factors for the doctor to suspect the disease in case if there are no other symptoms. Sometimes the cyst may be detected accidentally when tests are done for some other purpose.

Normally if the acquired cystic kidney disease is not producing any complications, patient may not require any particular treatment. But if there is infection, antibiotics are the main stay treatment that can be valuable for controlling the symptoms. Antibiotics will kill the bacterial germs and treat the symptoms. But the cyst still remains.

If the cyst is large sized causing pain the surgeon will drain the fluid inside the cyst with the help of needle. The procedure in normally done through percutaneous route. In rare instances surgery is performed to stop bleeding from the cyst or to remove the tumor. There is no specific diet that will help to reduce the formation of cyst in people having chronic kidney failure.

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