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A cyst is a fluid-filled sac. You may get simple kidney cysts as you age; they are usually harmless. There are also some diseases which cause kidney cysts. One type is polycystic kidney disease (PKD). It runs in families. In PKD, many cysts grow in the kidneys. This can enlarge the kidneys and make them work poorly. About half of people with the most common type of PKD end up with kidney failure. PKD also causes cysts in other parts of the body, such as the liver.
Often, there are no symptoms at first. Later, symptoms include
Doctors diagnose PKD with imaging tests and family history. There is no cure. Treatments can help with symptoms and complications. They include medicines and lifestyle changes, and if there is kidney failure, dialysis or kidney transplants.
Acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD) happens in people who have chronic kidney disease, especially if they are on dialysis. Unlike PKD, the kidneys are normal sized, and cysts do not form in other parts of the body. ACKD often has no symptoms. Usually, the cysts are harmless and do not need treatment. If they do cause complications, treatments include medicines, draining the cysts, or surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Medullary cystic kidney disease type 1 (MCKD1) is an inherited condition that affects the kidneys. It leads to scarring (fibrosis) and impaired function of the kidneys, usually beginning in adulthood. The kidneys filter fluid and waste products from the body. They also reabsorb needed nutrients and release them back into the blood. As MCKD1 progresses, the kidneys are less able to function, resulting in kidney failure.Declining kidney function in people with MCKD1 leads to the signs and symptoms of the condition. The features are variable, even among members of the same family. Many individuals with MCKD1 develop high blood pressure (hypertension), especially as kidney function worsens. Some develop high levels of a waste product called uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) because the damaged kidneys are unable to remove uric acid effectively. In a small number of affected individuals, the buildup of this waste product can cause gout, which is a form of arthritis resulting from uric acid crystals in the joints.Although the condition is named medullary cystic kidney disease, only about 40 percent of affected individuals have medullary cysts, which are fluid filled pockets found in a particular region of the kidney. When present, the cysts are usually found in the inner part of the kidney (the medullary region) or the border between the inner and outer parts (corticomedullary region). These cysts are visible by tests such as ultrasound or CT scan.