State of the Science and Ethical Considerations for Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic Cystic Kidney Diseases and Ciliopathies

Whitney S. Thompson, Samir N. Babayev, Michelle L. McGowan, Andrea G. Kattah, Myra J. Wick, Ellen M. Bendel-Stenzel, Fouad T. Chebib, Peter C. Harris, Neera K. Dahl, Vicente E. Torres, Christian Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


There is a broad phenotypic spectrum of monogenic polycystic kidney diseases (PKDs). These disorders often involve cilia-related genes and lead to the development of fluid-filled cysts and eventual kidney function decline and failure. Preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic (PGT-M) disorders has moved into the clinical realm. It allows prospective parents to avoid passing on heritable diseases to their children, including monogenic PKD. The PGT-M process involves embryo generation through in vitro fertilization, with subsequent testing of embryos and selective transfer of those that do not harbor the specific disease-causing variant(s). There is a growing body of literature supporting the success of PGT-M for autosomal-dominant and autosomal-recessive PKD, although with important technical limitations in some cases. This technology can be applied to many other types of monogenic PKD and ciliopathies despite the lack of existing reports in the literature. PGT-M for monogenic PKD, like other forms of assisted reproductive technology, raises important ethical questions. When considering PGT-M for kidney diseases, as well as the potential to avoid disease in future generations, there are regulatory and ethical considerations. These include limited government regulation and unstandardized consent processes, potential technical errors, high cost and equity concerns, risks associated with pregnancy for mothers with kidney disease, and the impact on all involved in the process, including the children who were made possible with this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-248
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024


  • ethics
  • genetic renal disease
  • molecular genetics
  • patient-centered care
  • pediatric nephrology
  • polycystic kidney disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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