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Yale Named Center of Excellence by Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation

December 19, 2022
by Amy Anderson

Yale School of Medicine and Yale Medicine have been chosen as a Center of Excellence (COE) by the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation.

Autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD) is one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases in which fluid-filled cysts develop and enlarge in both kidneys, eventually leading to kidney failure.

“PKD is a multi-organ disease, which can affect the kidneys, liver and occasionally, the brain. Because it is an inherited condition, often multiple family members may be affected,” said Neera Dahl, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (nephrology) and medical director of the Yale Medicine Polycystic Kidney Disease Program, the newly designated Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation Center of Excellence.

While symptoms often first appear in young adulthood, PKD usually progresses slowly and variably in different patients. About half of patients with PKD will eventually have kidney failure, and will need kidney dialysis or a transplant.

Patients are treated for PKD at the Yale Medicine Polycystic Kidney Disease Program which offers patients the opportunity to receive care from experts who can explain the nuances of inherited disorders to patients and skillfully manage the illness.

“As a COE, we provide individualized, patient-centered care. It’s important to us to understand the patient’s needs and interests before providing care. Because PKD is a rare genetic disease affecting 1:1000 in the general population, often patients have seen multiple providers before they meet a clinician with expertise in their condition,” explained Dahl. “We are a resource for our patients, in whatever capacity is needed—a second opinion, management of a PKD-related complication, or establishing general kidney care and follow up. The clinic offers ‘one stop’ management of all of the potentially complex and interconnected issues.”

Yale was selected along with 27 other research organizations nationwide to receive the recognition as an ADPKD Center of Excellence.

“The COE designation showcases the comprehensive care that we are able to offer our PKD patients, from state-of-the-art clinical trials and therapies, to prompt referral for transplant, or referral to subspecialists for complex care,” mentioned Dahl. 

“To be named a center of excellence speaks to the commitment of our clinicians treating ADPKD patients,” added Stefan Somlo, MD, C. N. H. Long Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) and professor of genetics; chief, Section of Nephrology.

“Creating a brighter future for the PKD community has always been our goal which we can achieve through strong partnerships with organizations like Yale who are doing the incredible work of bringing a patient-centered approach to ADPKD care,” said Chris Rusconi, PhD, Interim CEO and Chief Research Officer of the PKD Foundation.

Yale’s Section of Nephrology is committed to excellence in patient care, research, and education with the goal for both their faculty and trainees to be national and international leaders in the field of academic nephrology. To learn more about their mission and work, visit Nephrology.

Submitted by Amy Anderson on December 20, 2022