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J Endocrinol Invest. 1998 Sep;21(8):531-6.

Hormonal characteristics of primary aldosteronism due to unilateral adrenal hyperplasia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine III, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.


A case of unilateral adrenocortical hyperplasia is presented. A 46-year-old woman with a 7-year history of hypertension and a 1-year-history of hypokalemia was diagnosed with primary aldosteronism. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, venous sampling and adosterol scintigraphy exhibited a functioning left adrenal mass. The plasma aldosterone concentration increased markedly when furosemide with upright posture and either captopril or adrenocorticotropin were administered. Plasma renin activity was suppressed below the detectable range. Aldosterone secretion displayed a circadian rhythm and was not suppressed by dexamethasone administration. The resected left adrenal mass was pathologically diagnosed as adrenocortical nodular hyperplasia. Unilateral adrenal hyperplasia involving the zona glomerulosa rarely has been reported, with varying and incompletely characterized hormonal characteristics. This case report and literature review suggest unilateral adrenal hyperplasia as a rare cause of hyperaldosteronism with characteristics intermediate between idiopathic hyperaldosteronism and aldosterone-producing adrenocortical adenoma, resembling the functional features of the adenoma more closely.

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