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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680


RIOS, María Carolina et al. Aldosterone/renin ratio in the diagnosis of primary aldosteronism. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.6, pp.525-530. ISSN 0025-7680.

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a possible cause of endocrine hypertension. Recent studies have suggested a prevalence ranging between 5% and 15% of all hypertensive patients, and 20% in patients with refractory hypertension.The objective of this transversal study was to establish the prevalence of PA in a hypertensive population using the aldosterone / plasma renin ratio (ARR) as a screening method, considering that the prevalence rates for PA among hypertensive people present a wide range and that there are only few reports in Argentina. This ratio was then related with the degree of hypertension and with the presence or absence of hypokalemia. Serum aldosterone and plasma renin activity levels were measured in 123 hypertensive patients after discontinuing all medications that could interfere with the hormonal tests. Patients with an aldosterone/plasma renin activity ratio > 25 were submitted to the saline suppression test (SST) to confirm the diagnosis of PA, followed by computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen. Twenty patients presented an ARR > 25 (16.4%). Eighteen were submitted to the SST, eight had a diagnosis of PA confirmed with positive SST (6.5%). Of 8 patients who underwent an abdominal CT, two showed adenoma, and six normal adrenal anatomy. All the eight patients with a PA diagnosis belonged to group II and III of hypertension according to Joint National Committee VI (JNC VI), and only 4 (50%) were normokalemic. We found a 6.5% prevalence of PA, associated with grade II and III hypertension, and normal potassium values in half of the patients with PA.

Keywords : Aldosterone; Renin; Hypertension.

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