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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jul;91(7):2618-23. Epub 2006 May 2.

Comparison of confirmatory tests for the diagnosis of primary aldosteronism.

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1
Centro Ipertensione Ospedale San Vito, Strada San Vito 34, 10133, Torino, Italy. paolo.mulatero@libero.it

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most frequent form of secondary hypertension, accounting for up to 5-10% of all hypertensive patients, and the diagnosis of PA can present an important challenge for the clinician. After a positive screening test, the diagnosis is confirmed by a suppression test, often an iv saline load test (SLT) or a fludrocortisone suppression test (FST). The FST is considered by many to be the most reliable but is more complex and expensive.

OBJECTIVE AND DESIGN:

Our objective was to compare the specificity of SLT with FST for the diagnosis of PA.

PATIENTS AND SETTING:

The study included 100 hypertensive patients referred to hypertension units with suspected PA after the screening test.

INTERVENTION:

All patients underwent FST and SLT.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We assessed plasma aldosterone concentrations (PAC) before and after FST and SLT.

RESULTS:

After iv SLT, 10.4% of the PA patients were negative and 16.1% of patients with essential hypertension were positive after SLT; that is, a correct diagnosis with SLT was obtained in 88% of patients compared with FST. PAC after SLT and PAC after FST were highly correlated (P < 0.0001). Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis demonstrated that the best cutoff for PAC after SLT was 5 ng/dl. Patients with aldosterone-producing adenoma displayed a smaller reduction of PAC compared with patients with bilateral adrenal hyperplasia; a PAC after SLT greater than 6 ng/dl identified all patients eventually diagnosed as having aldosterone-producing adenoma.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates that the iv SLT is a reasonably good alternative to the more expensive and complex FST for the diagnosis of PA after a positive screening test.

PMID:
16670162
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2006-0078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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