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Long-term Follow-up after Adrenalectomy for Primary Aldosteronism

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effects of adrenalectomy on the blood pressure and antihypertensive medication in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA). Twenty-four patients (15 female and 9 male) with a mean age of 48.3 ± 10.8 years underwent surgery for PA in our institution between 1988 and 2001. All subjects were re-examined with a complete clinical work-up after a mean follow-up period of 86 ± 48 months, including blood pressure readings (<140/90 mmHg defined as normal), endocrine adrenal function, and specific medication. All patients suffered from hypertension (onset 8.5 ± 5.5 years prior to surgery). In 92% of the patients, hypokalemia was present (onset 2.0 ± 2.6 years prior to surgery). The histopathologic examinations revealed unilateral adenomas in 23 patients and a bilateral hyperplasia in one patient. At follow-up, 33% (8) of the patients were completely cured (normal blood pressure and no antihypertensive treatment), with seven of these eight patients being under 50 years of age at the time of surgery. One patient revealed a contralateral aldosterone-secreting adrenal adenoma during the subsequent endocrine and imaging examination 44 months after the first operation. Despite normalized plasma-aldosterone concentration (PAC), plasma-renin-activity (PRA) and serum potassium levels, a long-lasting insufficiently treated hypertension due to the delayed diagnosis in patients with PA may explain the persistent blood pressure elevation, indicating the necessity of a life-long, regular control of the blood pressure and antihypertensive medication.

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Correspondence to Matthias Behrend M.D., PhD.

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Meyer, A., Brabant, G. & Behrend, M. Long-term Follow-up after Adrenalectomy for Primary Aldosteronism. World J. Surg. 29, 155–159 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-004-7496-z

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