What is PKD?
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a chronic, genetic disease, causing uncontrolled growth of fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. As the cysts accumulate more fluid, they get bigger and bigger, destroying healthy tissue, which leads to high blood pressure, other complications, and often kidney failure.
A typical kidney is the size of a human fist and weighs about a third of a pound. Polycystic kidneys can be much larger, some growing as large as a football. Kidneys can develop cysts ranging in size from as small as a pinhead to as large as a grapefruit.
There are two types of genetic PKD:
ADPKD is the more common type of PKD and is estimated to affect more than 600,000 Americans and 12.4 million people worldwide.
ARPKD is a rare form of PKD that occurs in 1 in 25,000 children worldwide.
There is no cure. But with the first treatment for ADPKD approved in 2018 and ongoing clinical trials, there is hope.
Share your story
Download and share information about ADPKD and ARPKD. Hashtags to use: #endPKD and #PKDAwarenessDay
Walk to #endPKD
Join the ADPKD Registry
About the PKD Foundation
We are the only organization in the U.S. solely dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and to improving the lives of those it affects. Since 1982, we have proudly funded more than 1,300 research projects and leveraged $1.5B in research funds, while serving our local communities across the country. We are inspired by our mission. And driven by our vision.
OUR VISION: #endPKD
OUR MISSION: WE GIVE HOPE. We fund research, advocate for patients, and build a community for all impacted by PKD.
Page last reviewed August 2021