Comprehensive Analysis of Steroid Biomarkers for Guiding Primary Aldosteronism Subtyping

Adina F Turcu, Taweesak Wannachalee, Alexander Tsodikov, Aya T Nanba, Jianwei Ren, James J Shields, Patrick J O'Day, Donald Giacherio, William E Rainey, Richard J Auchus
Hypertension 2020, 75 (1): 183-192
Adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is required to distinguish unilateral from bilateral aldosterone sources in primary aldosteronism (PA), and cortisol is used for AVS data interpretation, but cortisol has several pitfalls. In this study, we present the utility of several other steroids in PA subtyping, both during AVS, as well as in peripheral serum. We included patients with PA who underwent AVS at University of Michigan between 2012 and 2018. We used mass spectrometry to simultaneously quantify 17 steroids in adrenal veins (AV) and periphery, both at baseline and after cosyntropin administration. PA was classified as unilateral or bilateral based on a lateralization index ≥ or <4, respectively, separately for baseline and post-cosyntropin administration. Of 131 participants, AV catheterizations was deemed failed in 28 (21 %) patients (36 AVs) at baseline. Eight steroids demonstrated higher AV/periphery ratios than cortisol ( P <0.01 for all); 11β-hydroxyandrostenedione, 11-deoxycortisol, and corticosterone rescued most failed baseline catheterizations. Lateralization was generally consistent when using these alternative steroids. Based on pre- and post-cosyntropin data, the remaining 103 patients were classified as: U/U, 37; B/B, 32; U/B, 20; B/U, 14. Discriminant analysis of multi-steroid panels from peripheral serum showed distinct profiles across the 4 groups, with highest aldosterone, 18-oxocortisol and 11-deoxycorticosterone in U/U patients. In conclusion, 11β-hydroxyandrostenedione and 11-deoxycortisol are superior to cortisol for AVS data interpretation. Single assay multi-steroid panels measured in peripheral serum are helpful in stratified PA subtyping and have the potential to circumvent AVS in a subset of patients with PA.

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