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What are genes?

  • Genes are short pieces of DNA that contain the instructions for our bodies.
  • Genes are passed down to us from our parents before we are born.
  • Genes have DNA changes (variants) that determine a great deal about us, including what we look like and our risk for disease. 

What are genetic renal (kidney) diseases?

  • Genetic renal (kidney) diseases are kidney diseases caused by changes in a person's DNA.
  • Depending on how they are inherited, they may or may not run in the families. 

What is KidneySeqTM?

  • KidneySeqTM is a genetic test.
  • It looks for DNA changes in over 170 different kidney disease genes simultaneously, which makes KidneySeqTM very thorough.
  • A list of the genes on KidneySeqTM and the associated diseases can be found at: www.medicine.uiowa.edu/humangenetics/kidneyseq

Why is my doctor suggesting this test? 

Your doctor is ordering KidneySeqTM to see whether there is a genetic explanation for your kidney condition, or to see if you are at risk for developing a kidney condition that runs in your family. If a genetic explanation is found, it may help your doctor decide how best to manage your kidney condition.

What do I need to do to get KidneySeqTM?

  • Your doctor will need to order the test.
  • Most often, we get DNA from blood, so you will need to provide a blood sample. 
  • The DNA sample will be used to study your genes that can cause kidney disease.

How will I learn about my KidneySeqTM results?

Your doctor and possibly a genetic counselor will talk with you about your results, what they mean, and will answer any questions you may have. 

Are there limitation to KidneySeqTM?

  • Yes. KidneySeqTM can only look for changes in the genes included in the test. The genes included are those with known links to kidney diseases. As we learn more about the cause of kidney diseases, more genes will be added to the test.
  • This test can find many variants in the genes tested. It is not known how all of those variants may affect you.
  • Sometimes, more testing is needed. 

Will my insurance company have access to my test results?

Yes, any information in your medical record can be seen by your insurance company. Your doctor or your genetic counselor can answer questions you have regarding insurance companies and genetic information. 

Helpful Websites

Medline Plus: Genetics

Information about how genes affect your health: What genes are, how they work, and how they can cause illnesses. 

National Human Genome Research Institute 

Information on the Human Genome project, including the latest research, educational materials, an explanation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and your rights concerning genetic discrimination. 

National Kidney Foundation

Information for patients and health care providers on awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease. 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Information on kidney and digestive diseases informed by NIDDK research.