Assessing Risk of Rapid Progression in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease and Special Considerations for Disease-Modifying Therapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common inherited cause of kidney failure, accounting for 5%-10% of cases. Predicting which patients with ADPKD will progress rapidly to kidney failure is critical to assess the risk-benefit ratio of any intervention and to consider early initiation of long-term kidney protective measures that will maximize the cumulative benefit of slowing disease progression. Surrogate prognostic biomarkers are required to predict future decline in kidney function. Clinical, genetic, environmental, epigenetic, and radiologic factors have been studied as predictors of progression to kidney failure in ADPKD. A complex interaction of these prognostic factors determines the number of kidney cysts and their growth rates, which affect total kidney volume (TKV). Age-adjusted TKV, represented by the Mayo imaging classification, estimates each patient's unique rate of kidney growth and provides the most individualized approach available clinically so far. Tolvaptan has been approved to slow disease progression in patients at risk of rapidly progressive disease. Several other disease-modifying treatments are being studied in clinical trials. Selection criteria for patients at risk of rapid progression vary widely among countries and are based on a combination of age, baseline glomerular filtration rate (GFR), GFR slope, baseline TKV, and TKV rate of growth. This review details the approach in assessing the risk of disease progression in ADPKD and identifying patients who would benefit from long-term therapy with disease-modifying agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-292
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD)
  • disease progression
  • height-adjusted TKV (htTKV)
  • imaging classification
  • kidney cyst growth
  • kidney failure
  • prognostic biomarker
  • rapid progressor
  • renal function trajectory
  • renoprotective drug
  • review
  • tolvaptan
  • total kidney volume (TKV)
  • vasopressin V receptor antagonist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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