Kidney donation for people at family risk of polycystic kidney disease
What is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)?
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a problem that causes many cysts (fluid-filled sacs) to form in your kidneys.
PKD runs in families. If your parents or siblings have PKD, there’s a chance you may also have it.
PKD gets worse as you get older and can lower your kidney function and lead to kidney failure.
How will I know if PKD will stop me from donating?
If you have a family member with PKD, doctors will do tests during your donor evaluation to tell if you also have PKD. Doctors may do:
- An ultrasound of your kidneys to look for cysts – doctors count the number of cysts and compare the number to your age to know if you have PKD
- An MRI of your kidneys
- Genetic testing by taking a small sample of your blood, skin, or other tissue to test your genes for PKD – doctors use this when they know the gene that caused PKD in your family member
- If you have PKD, you won’t be able to donate your kidney
- If you are less than 40 years old and an MRI shows you have less than 5 cysts in your kidneys, doctors may let you donate