Polycystic Kidney Disease

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), or if you suspect you may have PKD, Mount Sinai's team of experts can help. Among the top-ranked nephrology (kidney) programs in the United States, we are specialists in the medical evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of all forms of PKD. In addition, we have one of the leading investigative laboratories in the nation studying PKD.

About Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited kidney disorder. One of the most common genetic diseases in the United States, it is characterized by enlarged kidneys that contain many fluid-filled sacs (cysts). These cysts can grow in size and in number over years, reducing kidney function and leading to kidney failure. The disease can also cause cysts to develop in the liver and other parts of the body resulting in serious complications, such as in the brain and heart.

The disease affects about 600,000 people in the United States and does not discriminate based on gender, race, ethnicity, or geography. The most common form of inherited PKD is autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), which represents approximately 90 percent of all cases. The other, much rarer inherited form is autosomal recessive PKD. Its symptoms can begin as early as in the womb.

Our Comprehensive, Multidisciplinary Approach

We offer a multidisciplinary approach that brings together specialists to provide comprehensive care tailored to the needs of each individual. As part of one of the world's leading hospitals and a highly ranked medical school, we work in close collaboration with experts at Mount Sinai in all surgical subspecialties including minimally invasive surgery, medical genetics, urology, cardiology, pediatrics, and nutrition, among others.

Although no cure currently exists for PKD, we provide highly advanced treatment and preventive therapies for many PKD-related symptoms and complications, including pain, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and aneurysms of the brain. The close collaboration between our nephrology and surgery teams allows us to utilize minimally-invasive techniques to remove infected or hemorrhagic PKD cysts, for example.

Other special features of our program include:

  • Continuity of care at all ages and stages of the disease. For example, our nephrologists work in close collaboration with pediatric nephrologists to seamlessly transition children with PKD from pediatric care into adult PKD care.
  • Genetic counseling. Our genetics department specializes in providing evaluation and counseling for individuals with PKD and/or a family history of PKD.
  • Transplantation. We work closely with our transplant team to appropriately direct PKD patients to transplant as necessary. Mount Sinai is a leading kidney transplant center in New York City. Our Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute (RMTI) surgeons and physicians, along with specialized nurses and social workers, coordinate the complex care of a patient both before and after kidney transplantation. Our close physical proximity to RMTI especially facilitates this collaboration and coordination of services.

Bringing New Therapies to Light

Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine are hard at work elucidating the causes and risks for progression of PKD. We have one of the nation's leading investigative laboratories, where important research occurs at the cutting-edge of science to identify potential PKD therapies. This work is funded by major research organizations in the United States, such as the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Defense. The pace of development of new potential therapies for PKD raises the hope for novel therapies to prevent or slow the progression of the disease.

We maintain close ties with the national and international PKD community of clinicians and researchers. In addition, we work closely with the PKD Foundation's New York chapter and participate in annual conferences on PKD and the Walk for PKD.

We Can Help

If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment, please call The Mount Sinai Health System at 212-241-4060.