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QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians

Clinical outcomes following unilateral adrenalectomy in patients with primary aldosteronism.


PMID 28180906

Abstract

In approximately half of cases of primary aldosteronism (PA), the cause is a surgically-resectable unilateral aldosterone-producing adrenal adenoma. However, long-term data on surgical outcomes are sparse. We report on clinical outcomes post-adrenalectomy in a cohort of patients with PA who underwent surgery. Retrospective review of patients treated for PA in a single UK tertiary centre. Of 120 consecutive patients investigated for PA, 52 (30 male, median age 54, range 30-74) underwent unilateral complete adrenalectomy. Blood pressure, number of antihypertensive medications, and serum potassium were recorded before adrenalectomy, and after a median follow-up period of 50 months (range 7-115). Recumbent renin and aldosterone were measured, in the absence of interfering antihypertensive medication, ≥3months after surgery, to determine if PA had been biochemically cured. Overall, blood pressure improved from a median (range) 160/95 mmHg (120/80-250/150) pre-operatively to 130/80 mmHg (110/70-160/93), P < 0.0001. 24/52 patients (46.2%) had cured hypertension, with a normal blood pressure post-operatively on no medication. 26/52 (50%) had improved hypertension. 2/52 patients (3.8%) showed no improvement in blood pressure post-operatively. Median (range) serum potassium level increased from 3.2 (2.3-4.7) mmol/l pre-operatively to 4.4 mmol/l (3.3-5.3) post-operatively, P < 0.0001). Median (range) number of antihypertensive medications used fell from 3 (0-6) pre- to 1 post-operatively (range 0-4), P < 0.0001. Unilateral adrenalectomy provides excellent long-term improvements in blood pressure control, polypharmacy and hypokalaemia in patients with lateralizing PA. These data may help inform discussions with patients contemplating surgery.