Primary aldosteronism (PA) has long been considered a rare disease, but a higher prevalence was suggested recently. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of PA in a group of Bulgarian hypertensive patients, including patients with adrenal incidentalomas (AI). The aldosterone to renin ratio (ARR)>750 was used as a positive screening test and the Captopril test was performed to confirm the diagnosis. Adrenal CT scan was used to differentiate between the main subtypes of PA- aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA). The diagnosis of APA was retrospectively confirmed after surgery. After excluding other forms of endocrine hypertension, except PA, we investigated a total of 472 consecutive hypertensive patients, among them 96 patients with AI. Final diagnosis of PA was reached in 38 patients (8.05%) in the entire hypertensive population and in 12 patients (12.5%) among hypertensive patients with AI. In the group of PA, 15 patients (39.5%) were diagnosed with APA and 23 patients (60.5%) had an IHA. Among all patients with PA 21 (55.3 %) presented with hypokalemia. Our findings of a relatively high prevalence of PA support an early diagnosis of this potentially curable disease, especially in hypertensive patients with AI.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.