Primary aldosteronism (PA) is an under-diagnosed cause of arterial hypertension. Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in hypertension rises significantly for patients who have aldosterone overproduction when compared with those with primary hypertension and the same level of blood pressure elevation. The classical signs of PA such as severe hypertension and hypokalemia may be absent, why screening in defined risk groups has been recommended. Screening has not been systematically implemented in Sweden, probably due to expensive, time and effort-consuming clinical routine protocols and low awareness of the problem among clinicians. The prevalence of PA in patients with hypertension in Sweden has not been studied adequately, and few studies from Northern Europe have addressed the problem.
The primary objective is to investigate prevalence of PA among patients with hypertension in primary care and to implement and assess optimal treatment. Discovered cases of PA will go through routine clinical work-up in order to distinguish the subtype of PA, which includes computed tomography of adrenals and adrenal vein sampling (AVS) in those willing and fit for surgical treatment. Treatment will be then chosen depending on the PA subtype. Those with unilateral disease who are willing and fit for surgery will be offered unilateral minimally invasive adrenalectomy. Patients who oppose or have contraindications to operative treatment, as well as patients with bilateral disease will be offered medical treatment with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA).
Study participants will be then followed up one year after surgery or initiation of specific medical treatment. Please se outcome measures for relevant description of those.
Blood samples will be collected from patients with confirmed PA to be stored in a biobank for potential future genetic and biochemical studies. A subgroup of patients with PA will undergo adrenal-specific positron-emission tomography to assess the possibility to un-invasively diagnose and subtype PA.