Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease
Besides the kidneys, autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease in children can affect the liver, spleen, and pancreas. This causes many of the common symptoms seen with this condition, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Low blood-cell counts (determined using blood tests)
- Frequent urination
- Varicose veins
- Less-than-average height and weight.
Ultrasound imaging of the fetus or newborn baby reveals cysts in the kidneys, but does not distinguish between autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. An ultrasound of the kidneys of relatives can be helpful.
For example, a parent or grandparent with cysts could help confirm a diagnosis in a fetus or child. (It is rare, although not impossible, for a person with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease to become a parent.) Because this condition tends to scar the liver, ultrasound imaging of the liver also aids in diagnosis.
Medicines can control high blood pressure in people with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, and antibiotics can cure urinary tract infections. Eating increased amounts of nutritious food improves growth in children. In some cases, growth hormones are used. If kidney failure occurs, patients must receive dialysis or transplantation.