Update in diagnosis and management of primary aldosteronism.
Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a group of disorders in which aldosterone is excessively produced. These disorders can lead to hypertension, hypokalemia, hypervolemia and metabolic alkalosis. The prevalence of PA ranges from 5% to 12% around the globe, and the most common causes are adrenal adenoma and adrenal hyperplasia. The importance of PA recognition arises from the fact that it can have a remarkably adverse cardiovascular and renal impact, which can even result in death. The aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR) is the election test for screening PA, and one of the confirmatory tests, such as oral sodium loading (OSL) or saline infusion test (SIT), is in general necessary to confirm the diagnosis. The distinction between adrenal hyperplasia (AH) or aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) is essential to select the appropriate treatment. Therefore, in order to identify the subtype of PA, imaging exams such as computed tomography or magnetic ressonance imaging, and/or invasive investigation such as adrenal catheterization must be performed. According to the subtype of PA, optimal treatment - surgical for APA or pharmacological for AH, with drugs like spironolactone and amiloride - must be offered.
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