What is the role of radiologic studies in the evaluation of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD)?

Updated: Mar 24, 2020
  • Author: Roser Torra, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Radiologic studies used in the evaluation of ADPKD include the following:

  • Ultrasonography: Technique of choice for patients with ADPKD and for screening patients' family members; useful for exploring abdominal extrarenal features of ADPKD (eg, liver cysts, pancreatic cysts)

  • CT scanning: Not routine; useful in doubtful pediatric cases or in complicated cases (eg, kidney stone, suspected tumor)

  • MRI: Not routine; helpful in distinguishing renal cell carcinoma from simple cysts; criterion standard to help determine renal volume for clinical trials when testing drugs for ADPKD; best imaging tool for monitoring kidney size after treatment, as an indication of disease progress.

  • MRA: Not routine; preferred imaging technique for diagnosing ADPKD-related intracranial aneurysms

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