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Surgically correctable hypertension caused by primary aldosteronism.

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Department of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, Clinica Medica 4, University Hospital, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35126 Padova, Italy.


Surgically correctable forms of primary aldosteronism are generally held to be less common than forms requiring medical therapy. However, with the availability of improved diagnostic techniques and the adoption of a systematic and thorough diagnostic work-up they can be identified more commonly than expected. Adrenal vein sampling (AVS) for measurement of cortisol and aldosterone has emerged as the 'gold standard' diagnostic test for identifying unilateral causes of primary aldosteronism that are amenable to surgical cure. Adrenalectomy can provide long-term normalisation of blood pressure and correction of primary aldosteronism in about 55% of patients with an aldosterone-producing adenoma and can markedly ameliorate blood pressure control in the rest. This chapter summarises the diagnostic work-up suggested for identifying these forms and examines the other diseases mimicking mineralocorticoid excess that enter into the differential diagnosis of surgically curable primary aldosteronism.

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