UC San Diego Health Named Center of Excellence for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD); New National Designation Highlights Multidisciplinary and Comprehensive Care Provided to Patients

When Linda Small, left, needed a kidney transplant due to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), her sister Annette LaRoche, right, didn’t hesitate to offer one of hers. The transplant took place at UC San Diego Health in February 2022. (Courtesy of Linda Small).

It was a birthday gift unlike any other Linda Small had ever received. She was wheeled out of the operating room the day before her birthday on February 23 with a donated kidney from her sister, Annette LaRoche, and a new lease on life. At age 27, Small was diagnosed with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD)--a type of chronic kidney disease that causes fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys, enlarging and damaging them over time. ADPKD is the most common type of cystic kidney disease, accounting for more than 90% of cases. ADPKD can also affect other organs and cause serious health issues, such as cysts in the liver, blood vessel problems, hypertension, and brain aneurysms. If the disease is left untreated, patients may need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.

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