Progress in Primary Aldosteronism: Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists and Management of Primary Aldosteronism in Pregnancy


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common cause of secondary hypertension. In this review, we discuss the diagnosis and management of PA during pregnancy based on the literature. As aldosterone and renin are physiologically increased during pregnancy and confirmation tests are not recommended, the diagnosis of PA during pregnancy relies on a repeatedly suppressed plasma renin level. Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs) are the most effective drugs to treat hypertension and hypokalemia in patients with PA. However, spironolactone (FDA pregnancy category C) might lead to undervirilization of male infants due to the anti-androgenic effects. Although data in the literature are very limited, treatment with spironolactone is not recommended. Eplerenone (FDA pregnancy category B) is a selective MRA without anti-androgenic potential. If MRA treatment is required in pregnancy, eplerenone appears to be a safe and effective alternative, although symptomatic treatment with approved antihypertensive drugs and supplementation with potassium is the first choice. In case of aldosterone-producing adenoma, laparoscopic adrenalectomy is a therapeutic option in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Authors: Anna Riester, Martin Reincke
Keywords: pregnancy, pregnancy complications, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist
DOI Number: 10.1530/EJE-14-0444      Publication Year: 2015

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