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Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a kidney disorder passed down through families in which many cysts form in the kidneys, causing them to become enlarged.

Programs + Services


Center for Polycystic Kidney Disease

Tufts Medical Center in Boston offers specialized, lifelong treatment for PKD and other forms of chronic kidney disease, including access to the latest clinical trials.
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Kidney and Blood Pressure Center

The Tufts MC Kidney and Blood Pressure Center provides both one-time consultations and ongoing care for chronic or acute kidney disease and high blood pressure.
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Doctors + Care Team

Andrew S. Levey, MD

Andrew S. Levey, MD

Title(s): Nephrologist; Dr. Gerald J and Dorothy R. Friedman Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Systemic lupus erythematosus, Kidney function evaluation (GFR), general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

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Ronald D. Perrone, MD

Ronald D. Perrone, MD

Title(s): Scientific Director, Clinical and Translational Research Center; Associate Chief, Division of Nephrology; Medical Director, Kidney Transplantation; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology, Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC)
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), kidney transplantation

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Amy Kuhlik, MD

Amy Kuhlik, MD

Title(s): Nephrologist; Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Pregnancy, general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

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Dana C. Miskulin, MD, MS

Dana C. Miskulin, MD, MS

Title(s): Nephrologist; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), dialysis, home dialysis, general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

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Klemens B. Meyer, MD

Klemens B. Meyer, MD

Title(s): Medical Director, Dialysis Clinic, Inc., Boston and Walden Pond, Concord, MA; Director Dialysis Services, Tufts Medical Center; Medical Director for Home Dialysis, Dialysis Clinics, Inc, Somerville, MA; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-5539

Dialysis, home dialysis, medical treatment for kidney failure without dialysis, general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

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Lesley A.  Inker, MD, MS

Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS

Title(s): Director, Kidney and Blood Pressure Center; Director, Kidney Function and Evaluation Center; Director, Quality Improvement; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Geriatric nephrology, pregnancy, HIV-associated kidney disease, kidney transplantation, kidney donor evaluation, medical treatment for kidney failure without dialysis, kidney function evaluation (GFR), general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

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Mark J. Sarnak, MD, MS

Mark J. Sarnak, MD, MS

Title(s): Chief, Division of Nephrology; Director of Research; Associate Director, Research Training Program; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Dialysis, general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

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Scott J. Gilbert, MD

Scott J. Gilbert, MD

Title(s): Director, Fellowship Training Program; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Kidney transplantation, systemic lupus erythematosus, dialysis, general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

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Research + Clinical Trials


A Phase 3b, Multi-center, Open-label Trial to Evaluate the Long Term Safety of Immediate-release Tolvaptan (OPC 41061, 30 mg to 120 mg/day, Split dose) in Subjects with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

Living with the pain, high blood pressure, and other symptoms of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) can be overwhelming. And because ADPKD may be passed from one generation to the next, you may have seen how it has affected your family and wonder how the disease will affect you.

If you have ADPKD, and have participated in a previous Tolvaptan research study, you may want to learn more about the Open Label clinical research study.

What is the Open Label study?

The purpose of the Open Label study is to evaluate the long-term safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication called tolvaptan in patients with ADPKD.

Who can participate?

You may be able to join the study if you:

  • Have participated in a previous Tolvaptan research study
  • Are diagnosed with ADPKD

What is the investigational medication?

Tolvaptan is being investigated in this study as a potential treatment to slow the progression of cyst growth in the kidneys of adults with ADPKD.

What are the potential risks and benefits?

Everyone who participates in a research study must first complete a screening visit. During the screening visit, the study doctor will explain to you the study details and the potential risks and benefits of participation in the study.

The information learned from the study and your participation may help us learn about how to develop future treatment options for people with ADPKD.

Study participation is voluntary. If you choose to participate, you may leave the study at any time for any reason. The study doctor and staff will be available to help you throughout the study and to address any questions you may have. Your health is very important to them.


More information about research and clinical trials


Metformin as a Novel Therapy for Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

This study will involve patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) and is supported by the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. The study has started at Tufts Medical Center and the University of Maryland (Baltimore). Drs. Ronald Perrone and Dana Miskulin of Tufts Medical Center and Drs. Terry Watnick and Steve Seliger of the University of Maryland will conduct the study at these clinical sites. The study will test the safety and tolerability of the antidiabetic drug metformin, which has been shown in animal models to slow the progression of PKD. Metformin is a widely used generic drug that is FDA approved for the treatment of diabetes.
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A Double-blind Randomized Parallel Group Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Tesevatinib in Subjects with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

The purpose of this study is to find out if the experimental study drug, tesevatinib, works as a treatment for ADPKD and if it is safe. Tesevatinib is made by Kadmon, who provides funding to this facility for the conduct of this study.

About 100 subjects will participate in this study across the U.S. Half the subjects (50 subjects) will receive tesevatinib, and the other half (50 subjects) will receive placebo. The study will last approximately 2 years, and will require frequent visits to Tufts Medical Center


More information about research and clinical trials

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