Somatic Mutations in Adrenals from Patients With Primary Aldosteronism Not Cured After Adrenalectomy Suggest Common Pathogenic Mechanisms Between Unilateral and Bilateral Disease


Adrenalectomy is the recommended treatment for patients with APA; however, 6% of patients are not cured and show persistent PA after surgery suggesting BAH. The objective of this study was to analyze clinical data of patients with APA without biochemical success after adrenalectomy as well as the histological and genetic characteristics of their adrenal glands. Clinical data of 12 patients with partial and absent biochemical cure were compared to those from 39 PA patients with hormonal cure after surgery. Histological, morphological, and genetic characterization of the adrenals was carried out by CYP11B2 and CYP11B1 immunostaining and by CYP11B2-guided NGS. Patients with absent hormonal cure displayed a longer duration of arterial hypertension and lower lateralization index of aldosterone production. In ten patients, APAs expressing CYP11B2 were identified. No difference in histological and morphological characteristics was observed between patients with or without a hormonal cure. Somatic mutations in APA driver genes were identified in all CYP11B2 positive APAs; CACNA1D mutations were the most frequent genetic abnormality. Patients with partial and absent biochemical cure were diagnosed later and exhibited a lower lateralization index of aldosterone production, suggesting asymmetric aldosterone production in the context of BAH. Somatic mutations in adrenal glands from those patients indicate common mechanisms underlying BAH and APA.

Authors: Inès Hacini, Kelly De Sousa, Sheerazed Boulkroun, Tchao Meatchi, Laurence Amar, Maria-Christina Zennaro, Fabio L Fernandes-Rosa
Keywords: adrenalectomy, treatment outcome, somatic mutation
DOI Number: 10.1530/EJE-21-0338      Publication Year: 2021

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