We report the case of a 41-year-old male patient with juvenile onset refractory hypertension while taking four drugs including a diuretic. Fourteen years before he underwent a complete investigation for secondary hypertension (including the aldosterone to renin ratio-ARR) that was negative. Since that, hypertension control gradually worsened, hypertensive organ damage aggravated and hypokalemia developed in spite of ACE inhibitor treatment. At the re-evaluation ARR was elevated, and the further workup for primary aldosteronism demonstrated a unilateral aldosterone producing adenoma that was surgically removed, with subsequent optimal blood pressure control with two anti-hypertensive drugs. In this case, the failure of the first screening prevented a correct diagnosis of primary aldosteronism, with consequent inadequate blood pressure control in following years and end organ damage. The case suggests the need of clinical follow-up and eventual reappraisal of patients showing a condition of refractory hypertension associated with hypokalemia despite a first negative screening test.

Authors: Francesco Zorzi, Oliviero Olivieri, Paolo Brazzarola, Francesca Pizzolo
Keywords: late diagnosis, aldosteronism, repeat testing
DOI Number: 10.1007/s40292-017-0191-6      Publication Year: 2017

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