How to Diagnosis & Test Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease diagnosis

Polycystic kidney disease diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. When diagnosing PKD, your doctor may begin by looking for signs of the disease, including high blood pressure, enlarged or tender kidneys, enlarged liver, and protein or blood in the urine.

An abdominal ultrasound is usually the test of first choice to detect the presence of cysts on the kidneys. If cysts are too small to be detected by ultrasound and the diagnosis is still in question, an abdominal CT scan or MRI scan may be performed.

If the diagnosis still remains unconfirmed, additional tests may be ordered, including:

Ultrasound examination.

In this common diagnostic method, a wand-like device called a transducer is placed on your body. It emits inaudible sound waves that are reflected back to the transducer — like sonar. A computer translates the reflected sound waves into images of your kidneys.

Computerized tomography (CT) scan.

As you lie on a movable table, you’re guided into a big doughnut-shaped device that projects very thin X-ray beams through your body. Your doctor is able to see cross-sectional images of your kidneys.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

As you lie inside a large cylinder, magnetic fields and radio waves generate cross-sectional views of your kidneys.

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