This condition may be congenital, or it may occur as the result of dissipation, or from causes obscure or unknown. Pathologically considered, cystic kidney of congenital origin is most picturesque. The condition is one in which cysts form in the structure of the kidney or on its surface. They may be single or multiple, and may vary greatly in size. The condition induces enlargement of the renal organs and usually interferes materially with their functional operation, although a few cases have been found post mortem where normal activity was present. During the course of chronic nephritis small cysts sometimes occur, which are of no cynical importance.
Symptomatology:—There are no characteristic symptoms until the cyst has developed and distends the abdominal cavity, unless in the growth of the cyst, renal disease with symptoms similar to those of chronic nephritis appears. In rare cases the function of the organ is suddenly suspended, resulting in an acute attack of uremia.
Prognosis:—Where complications exist, the prognosis is unfavorable. In rare cases no marked evidence of renal disease has been observed for years.
Treatment:—There are but few suggestions to be made in the medical treatment of the condition, and these are made with reference to the relief of pain and attending conditions. Surgical measures are usually advised for the removal of the diseased organ, if unilateral, as soon as the diagnosis is affirmed. If the renal secretion is comparatively normal and there is no marked impairment of health due to the condition, or no uremic symptoms, the operation should be postponed until urgency of symptoms makes it imperative.