A cyst is a fluid-filled sac. You may get simple kidney cysts as you age; they are usually harmless. There are also some diseases which cause kidney cysts. One type is polycystic kidney disease (PKD). It runs in families. In PKD, many cysts grow in the kidneys. This can enlarge the kidneys and make them work poorly. About half of people with the most common type of PKD end up with kidney failure. PKD also causes cysts in other parts of the body, such as the liver.
Often, there are no symptoms at first. Later, symptoms include
- Pain in the back and lower sides
- Blood in the urine
Doctors diagnose PKD with imaging tests and family history. There is no cure. Treatments can help with symptoms and complications. They include medicines and lifestyle changes, and if there is kidney failure, dialysis or kidney transplants.