Prevalence of Primary Aldosteronism Across the Stages of Hypertension Based on a New Combined Overnight Test


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common endocrine cause of arterial hypertension. Despite the increasing incidence of hypertension worldwide, the true prevalence of PA in hypertension was only recently recognized. The objective of the work was to estimate the prevalence of PA in patients at different stages of hypertension based on a newly developed screening-diagnostic overnight test. This is a prospective study with hypertensive patients (n=265) at stage I (n=100), II (n=88), and III (n=77) of hypertension. A group of 103 patients with essential hypertension without PA was used as controls. PA diagnosis was based on a combined screening-diagnostic overnight test, the Dexamethasone-Captopril-Valsartan Test (DCVT) that evaluates aldosterone secretion after pharmaceutical blockade of angiotensin-II and adrenocorticotropic hormone. DCVT was performed in all participants independently of the basal aldosterone to renin ratio (ARR). The calculated upper normal limits for post-DCVT aldosterone levels [3 ng/dl (85 pmol/l)] and post-DCVT ARR [0.32 ng/dl/μU/ml (9 pmol/IU)] from controls, were applied together to establish PA diagnosis. Using these criteria PA was confirmed in 80 of 265 (30%) hypertensives. The prevalence of PA was: 21% (21/100) in stage I, 33% (29/88) in stage II, and 39% (30/77) in stage III. Serum K+ levels were negatively correlated and urinary K+ was positively correlated in PA patients with post-DCVT ARR (r=-0.349, p <0.01, and r=0.27, p <0.05 respectively). In conclusion, DCVT revealed that PA is a highly prevalent cause of hypertension. DCVT could be employed as a diagnostic tool in all subjects with arterial hypertension of unknown cause.

Authors: Nick Voulgaris, Ernestini Tyfoxylou, Sophia Vlachou, Evagelia Kyriazi, Chris Gravvanis, Chara Kapsali, Athina Markou, Labrini Papanastasiou, Alexandros Gryparis, Eva Kassi, George Chrousos, Gregory Kaltsas, George Piaditis
Keywords: prevalence, aldosterone to renin ratio, screening, diagnostic test, essential hypertension, Dexamethasone-Captopril-Valsartan Test
DOI Number: 10.1055/a-1507-5226      Publication Year: 2021

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