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Polycystic Kidney Disease& Kidney Cysts

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PKD & Kidney Cysts

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a group of disorders that result from the formation and progressive enlargement of cysts in the kidneys without dysplasia, usually leading to renal failure.

How Does PKD Cause High Blood Pressure

2013-04-18 12:00

Some PKD patients complain their blood pressure increases quickly after the diagnosis of kidney problem. PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) is a genetic kidney disorder that characterized by lots of fluid collection in kidney. So will it elevate blood pressure? And how does PKD cause high blood pressure?

Will PKD elevates blood pressure?

PKD is a kind of kidney problem, so it may be hard for patients to associate it with high blood pressure. However, as a matter of fact, PKD indeed can cause high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. Long-term persistent high blood pressure may damage renal blood vessels and accelerate PKD to kidney failure stage. Effective management of high blood pressure helps to improve PKD prognosis, so it is of great importance for PKD patients to bring their blood pressure into normal range. Clinically, different antihypertensives like ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) and direct renin inhibitors can be used to deal with blood pressure problems and patients need to select proper medicines according to their illness condition. Also, with high blood pressure, PKD patients need to limit salt intake, as salt is high in sodium.

How does PKD cause high blood pressure?

Generally, PKD cause high blood pressure in two ways:

1. Kidneys are responsible for discharging excess fluid and electrolyte in blood and when kidney function is impaired becasue of PKD, fluid retention and sodium retention occurs. Excessive sodium and fluid pile up in blood vessels and thus elevates blood pressure. Besides, when fluid inside the blood vessels ooze out and stay in the space of tissues, swelling symptom occur.

2. Angiotensin II can cause shrinkage of blood vessels. For PKD patients, too much renin will be produced in their body, which can cause increase of angiotensin II. High levels of angiotensin II shrink blood vessles and thus cause high blood pressure.

PKD causes high blood pressure in different ways, so it is necessary for PKD patients to select right medicines. Besides, although tight control of blood pressure helps to slow down progression of PKD, effective control should not be the ultimate goal of PKD patients. PKD can run to kidney failure directly and if PKD patients want to avoid dialysis, shrinking kidney cysts and improving kidney function should be the right target.

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