The Captopril challenge test (CCT) is an easy-conduct confirmatory test for diagnosing primary aldosteronism (PA). Guidelines show that plasma aldosterone is normally suppressed by captopril (> 30%) in primary hypertension (PH) and in healthy people. It is unclear whether this standard is applicable in Chinese subjects. The aim of the present study was to investigate the post-CCT efficacy of plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) suppression and determine the post-CCT aldosterone renin activity ratio (ARR) and PAC for PA diagnosis.
We recruited 110 consecutive patients with PA, 163 with primary hypertension (PH), and 40 healthy volunteers (NC). The CCT was conducted in all patients. Total sodium intake was estimated from 24-h urinary excretions. ROC curves were used to analyze the efficiency of different CCT diagnostic criteria for diagnosing PA.
In NC and PH patients, PRA was increased and PAC was decreased post-CCT (P < 0.05). The mean degree of PAC decline after CCT was approximately 9.3%, and only 11.7% of the patients with PH showed a greater than 30% suppression of PAC after CCT. In patients with PA, the post-CCT change in PRA and PRC was slight. The post-CCT degree of PAC decline was unrelated to dietary salt intake. The areas under the ROC for the post-CCT ARR, PAC and PAC suppression % were 0.994, 0.754 and 0.606, respectively. The optimal post-CCT cutoff value for ARR for diagnosing PA was 20, which yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 94.0 and 99.4%, respectively.
The PAC suppression percentage after CCT recommended by current clinical guidelines is not applicable when diagnosing Chinese subjects with PA. Compared to post-CCT PAC, post-CCT ARR was a better approach, having an optimal cutoff of 20 when interpreting the results of the CCT in Chinese patients. We found no relationship between high salt intake and low responses of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) to the CCT.
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”.