Sodium intake has been linked to left ventricular hypertrophy independently of blood pressure, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Primary hyperaldosteronism (PA), a condition characterized by tissue sodium overload due to aldosterone excess, causes accelerated left ventricular hypertrophy compared to blood pressure matched patients with essential hypertension. We therefore hypothesized that the myocardium constitutes a novel site capable of sodium storage explaining the missing link between sodium and left ventricular hypertrophy. Using Na magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated relative sodium signal intensities (rSSI) in the heart, calf muscle, and skin in 8 PHA patients (6 male, median age 55 years) and 12 normotensive healthy controls (HC) (8 male, median age 61 years). Myocardial tissue rSSI is increased in PHA patients and treatment of aldosterone excess effectively reduces rSSI, thus establishing the myocardium as a novel site of sodium storage in addition to skeletal muscle and skin.

Authors: Martin Christa, Andreas M Weng, Bettina Geier, Caroline Wörmann, Anne Scheffler, Leane Lehmann, Johannes Oberberger, Bettina J Kraus, Stefanie Hahner, Stefan Störk, Thorsten Klink, Wolfgang R Bauer, Fabian Hammer, Herbert Köstler
Keywords: LVH, sodium, MRI
DOI Number: 10.1093/ehjci/jey134      Publication Year: 2018

To search for other research papers by topic, keyword, author, or year, please go to our Publications page.