Inherited Kidney Conditions

More than 60 genetic diseases are currently known to directly or indirectly affect the kidneys. Inherited kidney conditions range from relatively common conditions to very rare syndromes.

While some inherited conditions are associated with only mild symptoms, others can cause severe health problems. Special expertise is needed to diagnose and treat these conditions. Through Michigan Medicine’s Inherited Kidney Diseases Clinic, patients can see a nephrologist with specific expertise in genetics, then access other specialists in genetics, urology, radiology and pathology to help address the special issues that arise in adults with genetically-determined kidney disease.

Since some inherited syndromes impact the glomeruli (the tiny filters of the kidney) patients may also be seen in the U-M Glomerular Diseases Clinic.

Children with these inherited conditions are evaluated in the U-M Division of Pediatric Nephrology.

Evaluation of Inherited Kidney Diseases 

The Inherited Kidney Disease Clinic provides education, counseling and treatment, working with patients and families to navigate their available options for both genetic testing and clinical trials of experimental therapies. We collaborate closely with our patients' referring physicians to coordinate treatment planning and follow-up care.

Some of the genetic conditions evaluated in the clinic include:

  • Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD): The most common inherited kidney illness, ADPKD causes cysts to form on the kidneys. It occurs in about one in 800 people, and is passed down from parent to child through generations. Major health problems from ADPKD usually occur in adulthood, with more than 30,000 people in the U.S. each year suffering kidney failure as a result. 
  • Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD): This condition is also characterized by cysts, and affects about 1 in 20,000 people. ARPKD generally causes symptoms in early to late childhood. Learn more about dominant and recessive polycystic kidney disease on the PKD Foundation website.
  • Thin Basement Membrane Disease
  • Gitelman and Bartter Syndromes
  • Collagen-related kidney diseases including Alport Syndrome: Learn more about Alport Syndrome on the Alport Syndrome Foundation website
  • Lowe Syndrome: Learn more about Lowe Syndrome on the Lowe Syndrome Association website.
  • Hereditary Interstitial Kidney Disease: Gout associated inherited kidney diseases
  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Cystinosis: Learn more about Cystinosis on the Cystinosis Research Network website.
  • Fabry Disease
  • Nephronophthisis

We also treat kidney disease occurring in multiple family members with no known cause.

Appointments and Referrals

Patients with inherited kidney conditions are seen in the General Nephrology Clinic located in Taubman reception area 3C. Patients can schedule appointments by calling 734-647-9342.  Physician referrals can be made by calling M-Line at 800-962-3555.