Management of pain in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and anatomy of renal innervation

Matthew W. Tellman, Clinton D. Bahler, Ashley M. Shumate, Robert L. Bacallao, Chandru P. Sundaram

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Chronic pain is a prominent feature of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease that is difficult to treat and manage, often resulting in a decrease in quality of life. Understanding the underlying anatomy of renal innervation and the various etiologies of pain that occur in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease can help guide proper treatments to manage pain. Reviewing previously studied treatments for pain in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease can help characterize treatment in a stepwise fashion. Materials and Methods We performed a literature search of the etiology and management of pain in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and the anatomy of renal innervation using PubMed® and Embase® from January 1985 to April 2014 with limitations to human studies and English language. Results Pain occurs in the majority of patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease due to renal, hepatic and mechanical origins. Patients may experience different types of pain which can make it difficult to clinically confirm its etiology. An anatomical and histological evaluation of the complex renal innervation helps in understanding the mechanisms that can lead to renal pain. Understanding the complex nature of renal innervation is essential for surgeons to perform renal denervation. The management of pain in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease should be approached in a stepwise fashion. Acute causes of renal pain must first be ruled out due to the high incidence in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. For chronic pain, nonopioid analgesics and conservative interventions can be used first, before opioid analgesics are considered. If pain continues there are surgical interventions such as renal cyst decortication, renal denervation and nephrectomy that can target pain produced by renal or hepatic cysts. Conclusions Chronic pain in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is often refractory to conservative, medical and other noninvasive treatments. There are effective surgical procedures that can be performed when more conservative treatments fail. Laparoscopic cyst decortication has been well studied and results in the relief of chronic renal pain in the majority of patients. In addition, renal denervation has been used successfully and could be performed concurrently with cyst decortication. Nephrectomy should be reserved for patients with intractable pain and renal failure when other modalities have failed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1470-1478
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Urology
Volume193
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

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Keywords

  • anatomy
  • autosomal dominant
  • innervation
  • kidney
  • pain management
  • polycystic kidney

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Medicine(all)

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