What causes primary aldosteronism?

Updated: Mar 24, 2020
  • Author: Gabriel I Uwaifo, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Entities known to cause aldosteronism include the following (see the image below):

  • Aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) [1]

  • Aldosterone-producing renin-responsive adenomas (AP-RAs; also abbreviated as RRAs)

  • Bilateral idiopathic adrenal (glomerulosa) hyperplasia or IAH (also known as primary adrenal hyperplasia or PAH)

  • Familial forms of primary aldosteronism

  • Ectopic secretion of aldosterone (The ovaries and kidneys are the 2 organs described in the literature that, in the setting of neoplastic disease, can be ectopic sources of aldosterone, but this is a rare occurrence.)

  • Pure aldosterone-producing adrenocortical carcinomas (very rare; physiologically behave as APAs)

    Scintigram obtained by using iodine-131-beta-iodom Scintigram obtained by using iodine-131-beta-iodomethyl-norcholesterol (NP-59) in a 59-year-old man with hypertension shows fairly intense radionuclide uptake in the right adrenal tumor. At surgery, a Conn tumor was confirmed.

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