Adrenal Venous Sampling in the Diagnostic Workup of Primary Aldosteronism


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the primary cause of secondary hypertension. The prevalence of PA has probably been underestimated in the past and recent studies suggest that PA could be present in up to 10% of patients suffering from hypertension. Aldosterone excess in PA can be caused by unilateral adrenal disease, usually adrenal adenoma, or bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. Differentiation between unilateral and bilateral disease is clinically important as the former can effectively be treated by removal of the affected adrenal. CT or MRI cannot reliably distinguish unilateral from bilateral disease. Therefore, adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is an important step of the diagnostic work-up in patients with PA. Current guidelines recommend PA in virtually all patients with biochemically diagnosed PA who would undergo adrenal surgery if unilateral PA was diagnosed. In this narrative review, we give an overview of the current technique used for AVS with a focus on the experience with this technique at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.

Authors: Matthias Johannes Betz, Christoph Johannes Zech
Keywords: adrenal venous sampling
DOI Number: 10.1259/bjr.20210311      Publication Year: 2021

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