What Causes Renal Dysplasia and Cystic Disease?

A fault in early kidney development results in renal dysplasia or renal cystic diseases. Most of these faults occur spontaneously and we know little about. Some, on the other hand, are genetic and passed down from parents to children. Polycystic kidney disease is one of the most common genetic conditions that lead to development of cystic kidneys.

  • Autosomal dominant disorders are caused by a single faulty gene from 1 parent. So each child has a 5 out of 10 chance of inheriting the defective gene and being affected.
  • Autosomal recessive disorders are caused by both parents passing along the faulty gene. The parents may be carriers only, and may not appear to have the health problem. So each offspring has a 1 in 4 chance of having the disease and a 1 in 2 chance of just being a carrier of the disease.

If you have been diagnosed with kidney cystic disease, you should talk to your health care provider about if your children should be checked. Many renal cystic diseases are passed down and the specific disorder will determine whether your children should be tested. Cystic kidney disease cannot be cured, but early evaluation in children can be helpful to decrease problems.

If your child has been diagnosed with kidney cystic disease, you may need to be tested. Some of the cystic kidney diseases in children are passed down from a parent. Testing will let you know which parent is also affected. In most cases there is already a known family history of a similar condition.

Diagnosing kidney cystic disease in someone without symptoms or relatives with the disease may cause problems with health insurance. Since treatment is based on symptoms, it is helpful for any parent to talk about the pros and cons of early diagnosis with a urologist.