A case for water in the treatment of polycystic kidney disease

Vicente E. Torres, Lise Bankir, Jared J. Grantham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Autosomal dominant polycystic disease (ADPKD) is an inherited disorder characterized by the development within renal tubules of innumerable cysts that progressively expand to cause renal insufficiency. Tubule cell proliferation and transepithelial fluid secretion combine to enlarge renal cysts, and 3′-5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) stimulates that growth. The antidiuretic hormone, arginine vasopressin (AVP), operates continuously in ADPKD patients to stimulate the formation of cAMP, thereby contributing to cyst and kidney enlargement and renal dysfunction. Studies in animal models of ADPKD provide convincing evidence that blocking the action of AVP dramatically ameliorates the disease process. In the current analysis, the authors reason that increasing the amount of solute-free water drunk evenly throughout the day in patients with ADPKD and normal renal function will decrease plasma AVP concentrations and mitigate the action of cAMP on the renal cysts. Potential pitfalls of increasing fluid intake in ADPKD patients are considered, and suggestions for how physicians may prudently implement this therapy are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1150
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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