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Postgrad Med J. 1995 Feb;71(832):104-6.

Primary hyperaldosteronism due to an adrenal adenoma in a 14-year-old boy.

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St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK.


Conn's syndrome due to an adrenal adenoma is very rare in children. This paper reports a 14-year-old boy with primary hyperaldosteronism due to an adrenal adenoma. His biochemistry data were compatible with either bilateral adrenal hyperplasia or an adrenal adenoma. A dexamethasone test did not suppress aldosterone levels. Venous catheter sampling and 75Se-selenomethylcholesterol scanning suggested that the hyperaldosteronism originated at the right adrenal. Computed tomography showed an 8-mm low-density nodule in the right adrenal gland and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the nodule which had high signal intensity on T2-weighted images consistent with a functioning adenoma. Surgery confirmed the right adrenal adenoma, and the patient was cured by right adrenalectomy. This case illustrates the difficulty of defining the aetiology of primary hyperaldosteronism and we review the biochemical and scanning techniques available to aid in diagnosis. Hypertension is unusual in children and endocrine causes are very rare, but Conn's syndrome should always be considered in the differential diagnosis.

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