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Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2011 May 24;7(8):485-95. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2011.76.

A comprehensive review of the clinical aspects of primary aldosteronism.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (DMCS) 'Gino Patrassi', Internal Medicine 4, Policlinico Universitario, Via Giustiniani 2, 35126 Padova, Italy.


Primary aldosteronism is much more common than previously thought. The high prevalence of primary aldosteronism, the damage this condition does to the heart, blood vessels and kidneys (which causes a high rate of cardiovascular events), along with the notion that a timely diagnosis followed by an appropriate therapy can correct the arterial hypertension and hypokalemia, justify efforts to search for primary aldosteronism in many patients with hypertension. Most centers can use a cost-effective strategy to screen for patients with primary aldosteronism. By contrast, the identification of primary aldosteronism subtypes, which involves adrenal-vein sampling, should only be undertaken at tertiary referral centers that have experience in performing and interpreting this test. The identification of a curable form of primary aldosteronism can be beneficial for the patient. In some subgroups of patients with hypertension who are at high risk of primary aldosteronism or can benefit most from an accurate diagnosis, an aggressive diagnostic approach is necessary.

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