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Cystic Kidney Disease

  : : My mother mentioned throughout the years before her death that she had "cysts in her kidneys".    She saw a physician for this.
  : : However, after her death, while going through her medical records, I found that both kidneys were filled with multiple cysts, one cyst in R kidney was so large it pushed out into her cavity.   The "upper collection system" was also being compromised by a cyst.    
  : : I later found out that my maternal grandmother also had cysts in her kidneys, but not as severe as my mother.
  : : My question,  what is the difference between multicystic and polycystic kidney diseases, if there is a difference.   What causes this, and can it be corrected.
  : : I am trying to formulate medical history for myself and my children.    Do kidney cysts tend to be found in generation after generation?
  : : Thank you for your time.   Hurray for the wonder physicians who take time to answer our questions!!!!!!!
  : ======================================================
  : Dear JR
  : Thanks for your questions.
  : There are multiple cystic diseases of the kidney.  Some are inherited and others are acquired.   The etiology for acquired cyst is unknown, but is more common the older you get.  the etiology is believed to be related to plugging of the small tubes of the kidney causes a dilation and cyst formation.  There is no effective prevention to date.   Approximately 40% of people with have at least one cyst by the age of sixty.  These cyst rarely get infected or cause significant compression of the surrounding organs to cause problems.  
  : Some patients with cyst are followed with serial ultrasounds to make sure the cyst linings do not change which would suggest early malignancy.
  :   Patient on dialysis acquire cyst commonly and can be a risk for cancer formation after several years.  
  : Congenital or inherited  cyst disease can occur early in childhood or by middle age and can lead to renal failure.  These cases do run in families or can be sporadic.  
  : If your mother had a normal life span and did not have failure of her kidneys, the odds of her passing on a  significant kidney disease is rare.  
  : More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its urban campuses by calling  (1 800 653 6568). We can also arrange local accommodations through this number if this is your need. Please bring any physicians
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