Primary aldosteronism with aldosterone-producing adrenal adenoma in a pregnant woman.
A 30-year-old pregnant woman complained of muscle weakness at 29 weeks' gestation. She was hypertensive with severe hypokalemia. Lower plasma renin activity and higher aldosterone level than the normal values in pregnancy suggested primary aldosteronism. A cesarean delivery was performed at 31 weeks' gestation because of pulmonary congestion. The neonatal course was uncomplicated. The laparoscopic adrenalectomy for a 2.0-cm right adrenal adenoma resulted in normalizing of her blood pressure and serum potassium level. Although primary aldosteronism is rare, especially during pregnancy, it should be always considered as one of etiologies of hypertension in pregnancy. (+info)
A case of aldosterone-producing adenoma with severe postoperative hyperkalemia.
It is known that some patients with primary aldosteronism show postoperative hyperkalemia, which is due to inability of the adrenal gland to secrete sufficient amounts of aldosterone. However, hyperkalemia is generally neither severe nor prolonged, in which replacement therapy with mineralocorticoid is seldom necessary. We report a case of a 46-year-old woman with an aldosterone-producing adenoma associated with severe postoperative hyperkalemia. After unilateral adrenalectomy, the patient showed episodes of severe hyperkalemia for four months, which required not only cation-exchange resin, but also mineralocorticoid replacement. Plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) was low, although PAC was increased after rapid ACTH test. Histological examination indicated the presence of adrenocortical tumor and paradoxical hyperplasia of zona glomerulosa in the adjacent adrenal. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the enzymes involved in aldosterone synthesis, such as cholesterol side chain cleavage (P-450scc), 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD), and 21-hydroxylase (P-450c21), or the enzyme involved in glucocorticoid synthesis, 11beta-hydroxylase (P-450c11beta), were expressed in the tumor, but they were completely absent in zona glomerulosa of the adjacent adrenal. These findings were consistent with the patterns of primary aldosteronism. Serum potassium level was gradually decreased with concomitant increase in PAC. These results suggest that severe postoperative hyperkalemia of the present case was attributable to severe suppression of aldosterone synthesis in the adjacent and contralateral adrenal, which resulted in slow recovery of aldosterone secretion. It is plausible that aldosterone synthesis of adjacent and contralateral adrenal glands is severely impaired in some cases with primary aldosteronism, as glucocorticoid synthesis in Cushing syndrome. (+info)
Gene targeting approaches to analyzing hypertension.
Essential hypertension probably results from combinations of small genetic variations that are partly normal variations and may not be appreciably harmful individually. Strategies to identify genes contributing to hypertension are discussed in this review. Gene targeting approaches, especially gene titration, have been used in these studies of hypertension. Gene titration experiments vary the expression of a chosen gene product by generating animals having different numbers of copies of the gene coding for the product. Gene titration is powerful for analyzing quantitative variations seen in common polygenic disorders, such as kidney diseases, diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis, as well as hypertension, because it allows tests of causation by determining the effects on a phenotype by changes in expression of the altered gene and because it matches normal quantitative variations more closely than is possible with classic transgenic mice. The use of zero-copy (gene "knockout") animals generated by gene disruption for studies of qualitative gene effects is also discussed. These various gene targeting experiments help identify genes regulating BP, promote a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the condition, and help identify potential targets for therapies. (+info)
Maximizing efficacy of endocrine tests: importance of decision-focused testing strategies and appropriate patient preparation.
The efficacy of endocrine tests depends on the choice of tests, the preparation of the patients, the integrity of the specimens, the quality of the measurements, and the validity of the reference data. Close dialogue among the clinicians, the laboratory, and the patients is a key factor for optimal patient care. The characteristics of urine and plasma samples and the advantages and limitations of paired test measurements are presented. The importance of test sequence strategies, provocative or inhibitory procedures, and elimination of drug interferences is illustrated with four cases involving Cushing syndrome, pheochromocytoma, primary aldosteronism, and hypercalcemia. For each of these scenarios, key clinical issues are highlighted, along with discussions of the best test strategies, including which medications are likely to interfere. The importance of targeting laboratory tests to answer well-focused clinical decisions is emphasized. The roles of some time-honored provocative procedures are questioned in light of more sensitive and specific analytic methods. The importance of decision-focused analytical tolerance limits is emphasized by demonstrating the impact of analytic bias on downstream medical resource utilization. User-friendly support systems to facilitate the implementation of test strategies and postanalytic tracking of patient outcomes are presented as essential requirements for quality medical practice. (+info)
A probable relationship between an endogenous digitalis-like substance and concentric cardiac hypertrophy in primary aldosteronism.
A 44-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital due to severe hypertension. An electrocardiogram (ECG) and an echocardiogram showed severe left ventricular hypertrophy. Her plasma aldosterone level was elevated. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a small mass in the right adrenal gland. Before removal of the tumor, plasma endogenous digitalis-like substance (EDLS) levels were elevated. After removal of the tumor, EDLS levels quickly returned to the normal level. A series of echocardiograms and ECGs over a 6- year period after removal of the tumor showed marked regression of cardiac hypertrophy. These findings suggest that EDLS may be closely related to the development of concentric cardiac hypertrophy in primary aldosteronism. (+info)
Aldosterone-producing adenoma without hypertension: a report of two cases.
Normotensive primary hyperaldosteronism is exceedingly rare. We report two new cases of this syndrome in two middle-aged women, one of Asian origin. The presenting signs were tetany in one case and an adrenal mass in the other. Neither patient had hypertension, despite repeated measurements with a manual armlet. A typical biological profile of primary hyperaldosteronism was demonstrated in both patients, including hypokalemia with inappropriate kaliuresis, elevated resting plasma aldosterone, and undetectable plasma renin activity. The circadian rhythm of blood pressure was studied by ambulatory monitoring pre- and post-operatively. It confirmed the lack of hypertension, but the circadian rhythm of blood pressure was lost before surgery in one patient. Surgical removal of the histologically typical aldosterone-producing adenomas normalized the kalemia. The main finding in these two patients was spontaneously low blood pressure in the post-operative period. This suggests that excess aldosterone induced relative hypertension in these patients whose blood pressure was spontaneously very low. Genetic screening for dexamethasone-sensitive hyperaldosteronism was negative in both patients. (+info)
Accuracy of CT scanning and adrenal vein sampling in the pre-operative localization of aldosterone-secreting adrenal adenomas.
In primary hyperaldosteronism, it is important to distinguish between unilateral and bilateral disease, as management strategies differ. In the period 1983-95, we identified 34 patients with primary hyperaldosteronism. Following further investigations, a diagnosis of aldosterone-secreting adenoma was made in 17 patients, and surgery was performed. Computed tomography clearly localized an apparent adenoma (discrete adenoma=1 cm diameter; normal contralateral gland) in only 10 of these patients (59%); two of these 'adenomas' were subsequently shown to be hyperplastic glands without adenomas. Histological examination showed adrenal adenomas in the remaining 15 patients. An 'adenoma' also appeared to be clearly localized in 3/17 patients later classified as having bilateral adrenal hyperplasia by adrenal vein sampling. CT scanning, therefore clearly localizes adenomas in only 50% of histologically proven cases, and can also produce misleading results. Adrenal vein sampling results altered our management approach in one third of cases. On the basis of our detailed results we would recommend surgery if there is clear evidence of unilateral aldosterone secretion along with CT findings which may not be strictly localizing but are in keeping with the dominant side on adrenal vein sampling. The decision to refer for surgery in primary hyperaldosteronism can be difficult, and we would caution against too heavy a reliance on CT results when recommending adrenalectomy, and suggest that adrenal vein sampling should remain a routine part of the investigation of patients with primary hyperaldosteronism. (+info)
Hyperaldosteronemia in rabbits inhibits the cardiac sarcolemmal Na(+)-K(+) pump.
Aldosterone upregulates the Na(+)-K(+) pump in kidney and colon, classical target organs for the hormone. An effect on pump function in the heart is not firmly established. Because the myocardium contains mineralocorticoid receptors, we examined whether aldosterone has an effect on Na(+)-K(+) pump function in cardiac myocytes. Myocytes were isolated from rabbits given aldosterone via osmotic minipumps and from controls. Electrogenic Na(+)-K(+) pump current, arising from the 3:2 Na(+):K(+) exchange ratio, was measured in single myocytes using the whole-cell patch clamp technique. Treatment with aldosterone induced a decrease in pump current measured when myocytes were dialyzed with patch pipette solution containing Na(+) in a concentration of 10 mmol/L, whereas there was no effect measured when the solution contained 80 mmol/L Na(+). Aldosterone had no effect on myocardial Na(+)-K(+) pump concentration evaluated by vanadate-facilitated [(3)H]ouabain binding or by K(+)-dependent paranitrophenylphosphatase activity in crude homogenates. Aldosterone induced an increase in intracellular Na(+) activity. The aldosterone-induced decrease in pump current and increased intracellular Na(+) were prevented by cotreatment with the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone. Our results indicate that hyperaldosteronemia decreases the apparent Na(+) affinity of the Na(+)-K(+) pump, whereas it has no effect on maximal pump capacity. (+info)