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Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.


It is possible that the main title of the report Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.



Disorder Subdivisions

  • ADPKD1
  • ADPKD2

General Discussion

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the formation of cysts within the kidneys. Symptoms caused by cyst formation in the kidneys include high blood pressure (hypertension), pain on the sides of the body between the last rib and the hip (flank pain), blood in the urine (hematuria) and progressively poor function of the kidneys (kidney insufficiency). In approximately 60 percent of cases, ADPKD eventually progresses to cause end stage renal disease, requiring renal replacement therapy, either dialysis or renal transplantation. ADPKD is not simply a kidney disorder and other organ systems of the body can potentially be affected (multisystem disorder) by the development of cysts. The specific symptoms present in each person depend upon the specific organ systems involved. The liver, pancreas, a membrane covering the spinal cord and brain (arachnoid membrane), the prostate, and the glands of the male reproductive tract that produce fluid that is part of semen (seminal vesicles) may become involved. Abnormalities affecting the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular system) may also occur in individuals with ADPKD. ADPKD usually does not become apparent until the fourth or fifth decade and was once known as "adult" polycystic kidney disease. However, it has been reported in children and infants. ADPKD is caused by mutations of one of two genes that create certain proteins essential for the proper health of the kidneys and other parts of the body. Approximately 85 % have ADPKD1, the most aggressive form of the disease; those with ADPKD2 progress to kidney insufficiency about 20 years later.


American Association of Kidney Patients

2701 North Rocky Point Drive, Suite 150

Tampa, FL 33607


Tel: (813)636-8100

Fax: (813)636-8122

Tel: (800)749-2257



American Kidney Fund, Inc.

11921 Rockville Pike

Suite 300

Rockville, MD 20852


Tel: (800)638-8299



National Kidney Foundation

30 East 33rd Street

New York, NY 10016

Tel: (212)889-2210

Fax: (212)689-9261

Tel: (800)622-9010



PKD Foundation

8330 Ward Parkway

Suite 510

Kansas City, MO 64114-2000


Tel: (816)931-2600

Fax: (816)931-8655

Tel: (800)753-2873



NIH/National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

3 Information Way

Bethesda, MD 20892-3580

Fax: (703)738-4929

Tel: (800)891-5390

TDD: (866)569-1162



National Hypertension Association, Inc.

324 East 30th Street

New York, NY 10016

Tel: (212)889-3557

Fax: (212)447-7032

Tel: (800)575-9355



Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Tel: (301)251-4925

Fax: (301)251-4911

Tel: (888)205-2311

TDD: (888)205-3223


For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  8/2/2012

Copyright  2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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