Polycystic Liver Disease (PLD)-A Complication of PKD

Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) can cause cysts to develop in other parts of your body. Polycystic Liver Disease (PLD) is one of the most common complications of PKD, particularly in elder people. About 40-70% of people with ADPKD develop cysts in the liver which is known as Polycystic Liver Disease (PLD).

Liver cysts can affect men and women, but women seem to have more cysts that grow to larger sizes and develop at an earlier age, which is thought to be associated with female hormones like oestrogen. The cysts does not usually influence the normal liver function, but sometimes can cause some symptoms such as swelling and bloating of your abdomen, abdominal pain and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

In most cases the symptoms of Polycystic Liver Disease (PLD) will disappear without the need for treatment; in rare cases, when a larger cyst causes severe and persistent pain, surgery may be used to drain the cyst; In very rare cases, the liver becomes so massively swollen that it stops working properly. It may be necessary to remove part of the liver by surgery or perform a complete liver transplant.

There is not much you can do to prevent the growth of liver cysts if you have PLD. Researchers are currently studying whether the drug octreotide (Sandostatin), given intravenously or by injection, can decrease the number of liver cysts associated with PLD. So far, the results have been mixed.

If you have been recently diagnosed with polycystic liver disease¬†, don’t worry. Most people with the condition have few if any symptoms and live normal, productive lives. If you do have pain and are suffering from PLD, tell your doctor. The doctor will be able to guide you towards the most appropriate treatment.

In China, Chinese herbal medicine may be another choice for patients with PLD. Just likes Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), the key of treatment is to skink the cysts growing on kidney or liver. The Chinese herbal medicine can expand the blood vessels, promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis. If the patients continue with the treatment for a whole course, the cysts will be softened or even shrunk. It is preventative treatment and can protect the kidney and liver function. If the cysts are numerous, this conservative treatment is better than surgery, because it acts on all the cysts at the same time, not only one big cyst and is safer.

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