Circulating MicroRNAs As Diagnostic Markers in Primary Aldosteronism


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a common and highly treatable condition, usually resulting from adrenocortical tumorous growth or hyperplasia. PA is currently underdiagnosed owing to its complex and protracted diagnostic procedures. A simplified biomarker-based test would be highly valuable in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Circulating microRNAs are emerging as potential biomarkers for a number of conditions due to their stability and accessibility. PA is known to alter microRNA expression in adrenocortical tissue; if these changes or their effects are mirrored in the circulating miRNA profile, then this could be exploited by a diagnostic test. However, the reproducibility of studies to identify biomarker-circulating microRNAs has proved difficult for other conditions due to a series of technical challenges. Therefore, any studies seeking to definitively identify circulating microRNA biomarkers of PA must address this in their design. To this end, we are currently conducting the circulating microRNA arm of the ongoing ENS@T-HT study. In this review article, we present evidence to support the utility of circulating microRNAs as PA biomarkers, describe the practical challenges to this approach and, using ENS@T-HT as an example, discuss how these might be overcome.

Authors: Scott M MacKenzie, Hannah Saunders, Josie C van Kralingen, Stacy Robertson, Alexandra Riddell, Maria-Christina Zennaro, Eleanor Davies
Keywords: biomarker, test, microRNA
DOI Number: 10.3390/cancers13215312.      Publication Year: 2021

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