Primary aldosteronism due to unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) is a surgically curable form of hypertension. Bilateral APA can also be surgically curable in theory but few successful cases can be found in the literature. It has been reported that even using successful adrenal venous sampling (AVS) via bilateral adrenal central veins, it is extremely difficult to differentiate bilateral APA from bilateral idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA) harbouring computed tomography (CT)-detectable bilateral adrenocortical nodules. We report a case of bilateral APA diagnosed by segmental AVS (S-AVS) and blood sampling via intra-adrenal first-degree tributary veins to localize the sites of intra-adrenal hormone production. A 36-year-old man with marked long-standing hypertension was referred to us with a clinical diagnosis of bilateral APA. He had typical clinical and laboratory profiles of marked hypertension, hypokalaemia, elevated plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) of 45.1 ng dl -1 and aldosterone renin activity ratio of 90.2 (ng dl -1 per ng ml -1 h -1), which was still high after 50 mg-captopril loading. CT revealed bilateral adrenocortical tumours of 10 and 12 mm in diameter on the right and left sides, respectively. S-AVS confirmed excess aldosterone secretion from a tumour segment vein and suppressed secretion from a non-tumour segment vein bilaterally, leading to the diagnosis of bilateral APA. The patient underwent simultaneous bilateral sparing adrenalectomy. Histopathological analysis of the resected adrenals together with decreased blood pressure and PAC of 5.2 ng dl -1 confirmed the removal of bilateral APA. S-AVS was reliable to differentiate bilateral APA from IHA by direct evaluation of intra-adrenal hormone production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine