Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

ADPKD – previously Adult PCKD but now recognized as having manifestations in childhood.  Cf Autosomal recessive disease, severe, renal failure in infancy.

1 in 400 to 1,000 live births, making it the most common monogenic cause of renal failure. The typical age of onset is in middle life, but the range is from infancy to 80 years.  Associated with liver cysts (asymptomatic) and intracranial aneurysms. 10-25% do not have family history (de novo mutations, missing records or mosaicism).

Possible presenting symptoms of renal disease in children with ADPKD are frequency, nocturia and/or, hematuria, urinary tract infection(s) and back, flank or abdominal pain. Often, the earliest symptoms are polyuria and polydipsia, from decreased urinary concentrating ability.

Extrarenal manifestations seen esp hypertension (renin angiotensin system, sodium retention, endothelial dysfunction), also liver cysts (asymptomatic), intracranial cysts and valvular defects but these are only seen in adults. 25% of children are hypertensive by the time they reach adolescence.  (GFR stays stable until around 40yrs, then rapid decline, about 50% have ESRF by 60yrs).

Importantly, children who were diagnosed in utero or within their first 18 months of life, the so-called VEO group, represent a particularly high-risk group of ADPKD patients and should be managed accordingly.  Diagnostic imaging criteria not validated under 15yrs, genetic testing also challenging.

Recommendation from Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Consortium against screening children for APCKD.  [Also highlight variety of different cystic disorders in children, so recommend thorough clinical assessment for extrarenal manifestations in case syndrome eg Von Hippel Lindau, USS of parents and/or grandparents if negative family history, and USS to look for dysplastic kidneys, glomerulocystic disease, and tuberous sclerosis complex].[Kidney international 2015]

Increasing evidence that hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy (even between 75th and 95th centile for BP) and increased kidney volume predates symptoms in affected children.  A study of early use of ACE inhibitor halted progression of LVH and fall in renal function.  Adding pravastatin reduced progression of structural kidney disease.  Disease modifying drugs in development.  [BMJ 2016;353:i2957 Editorial, GOS, Birmingham, Evelina].  “We propose an urgent national debate on an improved inclusive approach involving patients and their families and a range of clinicians, ethicists, and commissioners. A few pounds spent now on screening and early intervention could save many thousands later by delaying hypertensive complications and chronic kidney disease.”

Potential for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.  See Ethics.

Only one drug known to have moderate effect on disease progression in adult ADPKD patients, vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist tolvaptan (recent Cochrane review).  But timing of use unclear.

Psychological impact of having genetic disease that can be passed on to children very common in adult patients.  But a benefit of diagnosis is potential to target modifiable risk factors  – children with normal BP have slower cyst growth.  And knowledge can give sense of control over life decisions, esp reproductive decisions.