Atrial Fibrillation and Aortic Ectasia As Complications of Primary Aldosteronism: Focus on Pathophysiological Aspects


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common cause of secondary hypertension. A growing body of evidence has suggested that, beyond its well-known effects on blood pressure and electrolyte balance, aldosterone excess can exert pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant and pro-fibrotic effects on the kidney, blood vessels and heart, leading to potentially harmful pathophysiological consequences. In clinical studies, PA has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, renal and metabolic complication compared to essential hypertension, including atrial fibrillation (AF) and aortic ectasia. An increased prevalence of AF in patients with PA has been demonstrated in several clinical studies. Aldosterone excess seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of AF by inducing cardiac structural and electrical remodeling that in turn predisposes to arrhythmogenicity. The association between PA and aortic ectasia is less established, but several studies have demonstrated an effect of aldosterone on aortic stiffness, vascular smooth muscle cells and media composition that, in turn, might lead to an increased risk of aortic dilation and dissection. In this review, we focus on the current evidence regarding the potential role of aldosterone excess in the pathogenesis of AF and aortic ectasia.

Authors: Martina Bollati, Chiara Lopez, Fabio Bioletto, Federico Ponzetto, Ezio Ghigo, Mauro Maccario, Mirko Parasiliti-Caprino
Keywords: atrial fibrillation, aortic ectasia
DOI Number: 10.3390/ijms23042111      Publication Year: 2022

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