Polycystic Kidney Disease is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts in one or both kidneys. However, do cysts occuring in kidney mean Polycystic Kidney Disease? What are other symptoms or tests help to confirm the diagnosis of Polycystic Kidney Disease? Some common ways to diagnose PKD will be mentioned in this article.
Doctors are alerted to the possibility of PKD in the three conditions: Cysts are found in patients’ kidney, patients have the symptoms of PKD or patients have a family history of PKD. The following tests can help doctor and patients confirm the diagnosis.
Tests for PKD diagnosis
Currently, three main clinical tests are available for PKD diagnosis: ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Ultrasound is the most common and economical screening method for PKD while cysts smaller than 5mm can’t be detected.
Computed tomography (CT) and MRI scans are likely to be more sensitive than ultrasound.
Diagnostic criterion of PKD based on cysts number
If cysts are found in kidney, that can’t confirm the diagnosis of PKD. Cysts on kidney don’t indicate PKD because when people get old, some cysts may grow in kidney. There is a diagnostic criterion for PKD for different ages.
-At least 2 cysts in 1 kidney or 1 cyst in each kidney in an at-risk patient younger than 30 years
-At least 2 cysts in each kidney in an at-risk patient aged 30-59 years
-At least 4 cysts in each kidney for an at-risk patient aged 60 years or older
If patients have a family history, there is another diagnostic criterion for them:
-Three or more (unilateral or bilateral) renal cysts in patients aged 15-39 years
-Two or more cysts in each kidney in patients aged 30-59 years
Besides the above diagnosis methods, there are common symptoms of PKD may help diagnose: high blood pressure, back or side pain, increase in the size of your abdomen, blood in your urine and kidney stones.
If you suspect you have PKD, you can go to see a doctor and take the above tests. We are always ready to help you, if you need any help. You can leave a message or contact our online doctors.