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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct;95(10):4756-61. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-0823. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Reversible sympathetic overactivity in hypertensive patients with primary aldosteronism.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-8586, USA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Aldosterone has been shown to exert a central sympathoexcitatory action in multiple animal models, but evidence in humans is still lacking.

OBJECTIVES:

Our objective was to determine whether hyperaldosteronism causes reversible sympathetic activation in humans.

METHODS:

We performed a cross-sectional comparison of muscle sympathetic nerve activity (SNA, intraneural microelectrodes) in 14 hypertensive patients with biochemically proven primary aldosteronism (PA) with 20 patients with essential hypertension (EH) and 18 age-matched normotensive (NT) controls. Seven patients with aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) were restudied 1 month after unilateral adrenalectomy.

RESULTS:

Mean blood pressure values in patients with PA and EH and NT controls was 145 ± 4/88 ± 2, 150 ± 4/90 ± 2, and 119 ± 2/76 ± 2 mm Hg, respectively. The major new findings are 2-fold: 1) baseline SNA was significantly higher in the PA than the NT group (40 ± 3 vs. 30 ± 2 bursts/min, P = 0.014) but similar to the EH group (41 ± 3 bursts/min) and 2) after unilateral adrenalectomy for APA, SNA decreased significantly from 38 ± 5 to 27 ± 4 bursts/min (P = 0.01), plasma aldosterone levels fell from 72.4 ± 20.3 to 11.4 ± 2.3 ng/dl (P < 0.01), and blood pressure decreased from 155 ± 8/94 ± 3 to 117 ± 4/77 ± 2 mm Hg (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION:

These data provide the first evidence in humans that APA is accompanied by reversible sympathetic overactivity, which may contribute to the accelerated hypertensive target organ disease in this condition.

PMID:
20660053
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3050103
Free PMC Article
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