Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary Aldosteronism: Practical Clinical Perspectives


Primary aldosteronism (PA), the most common form of secondary hypertension, can be either surgically cured or treated with targeted pharmacotherapy. PA is frequently undiagnosed and untreated, leading to aldosterone‐specific cardiovascular morbidity and nephrotoxicity. Thus, clinicians should perform case detection testing for PA at least once in all patients with hypertension. Confirmatory testing is indicated in most patients with positive case detection testing results. The next step is to determine whether patients with confirmed PA have a disease that can be cured with surgery or whether it should be treated medically; this step is guided by computed tomography scan of the adrenal glands and adrenal venous sampling. With appropriate surgical expertise, laparoscopic unilateral adrenalectomy is safe, efficient and curative in patients with unilateral adrenal disease. In patients who have bilateral aldosterone hypersecretion, the optimal management is a low‐sodium diet and lifelong treatment with a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist administered at a dosage to maintain a high–normal serum potassium concentration without the aid of oral potassium supplements.

Authors: W. F. Young, Jr.
Keywords: aldosteronism disease management, low-sodium diet, MRA
DOI Number: 10.1111/joim.12831      Publication Year: 2018

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