The Renal Genetics Clinic, within the Division of Nephrology in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine, utilizes genetic testing to investigate patients with a family history of kidney disease or unexplained kidney disease. This testing can be useful for diagnosis, clinical management or preparation for kidney transplant or kidney donation.
This clinic meets once every 2-3 months, typically on Wednesday afternoons. We evaluate patients suspected of any form of inherited kidney disease, including but not limited to:
- Cystic kidney disease
- Renal dysplasia
- Glomerular disease
- Kidney stones
- Electrolyte disorders
Patients undergoing evaluation for kidney transplant with an unknown cause of kidney disease or a family member interested in kidney donation with a family history of kidney disease can be evaluated. Each patient is evaluated by a nephrologist specializing in inherited kidney disease as well as a genetic counselor or genetic counseling assistant. If genetic testing is felt to be warranted, consent is obtained and a blood sample is sent to the appropriate commercial lab for testing.
Cost to the patient (if any) may be variable based on insurance. However, testing is not started until the patient is aware of the proposed cost. If the cost is high, testing can be declined without cost.
- Evaluation by a nephrologist specializing in genetic or inherited kidney disease
- Coordination of sample acquisition and submission to one of several commercial sources
- Coordination with insurance companies to limit cost
- Review of results with the patient
- Genetic counseling is available