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      Is Primary Hyperaldosteronism a Risk Factor for Aortic Dissection?

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          Primary hyperaldosteronism is a rare (<1%) and underdiagnosed cause of secondary hypertension. We present a case of aortic dissection in a patient with primary hyperaldosteronism. To our knowledge, there are six other reported cases of aortic dissection in patients with primary hyperaldosteronism. Our case strengthens the hypothesis that primary hyperaldosteronism is a potential independent risk factor for aortic dissection.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Epidemiology and clinicopathology of aortic dissection.

          To determine the incidence and mortality as well as to analyze the clinical and pathologic changes of aortic dissection. A population-based longitudinal study over 27 years on a study population of 106,500, including 66 hospitalized and 18 nonhospitalized consecutively observed patients. Analysis of data from the medical, surgical, and autopsy records of patients with aortic dissection. Altogether, 86 cases of aortic dissection were found in 84 patients, corresponding to a 2.9/100,000/yr incidence. Sixty-six of the 84 patients (79%) were admitted to the hospital, and 18 patients (21%) died before admission. Their ages ranged from 36 to 97 years, with a mean of 65. 7 years. The male/female ratio was 1.55 to 1. A total of 22.7% of the hospitalized patients died within the first 6 h, 33.3% within 12 h, 50% within 24 h, and 68.2% within the first 2 days after admission. Six patients were operated on, with a perioperative mortality of two of six patients and a 5-year survival of two of six patients. All patients who were not operated on died. Pain was the most frequent initial symptom. Every patient had some kind of cardiovascular and respiratory sign. Neurologic symptoms occurred in 28 of 66 patients (42%). Five patients presented with clinical pictures of acute abdomen and two with acute renal failure. Trunk arteries were affected in 33 of the 80 autopsied cases (41%), and rupture of aorta was seen in 69 cases (86%). In five cases, spontaneous healing of dissection was also found. The ratio of proximal/distal dissections was 5.1 to 1. All 18 prehospital cases were acute. Fifty-nine cases (89.4%) were acute at admission, and 7 cases (10.6%) were chronic dissections. Hypertension and advanced age were the major predisposing factors. Aortic dissection was the initial clinical impression in only 13 of the 84 patients (15%). Thus, 85% of the patients did not receive immediate appropriate medical treatment. For this reason, these late-recognized and/or unrecognized cases may be regarded as an untreated or symptomatically treated group, whose course may resemble the natural course of aortic dissection.
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            Primary aldosteronism.

             A Ganguly (1998)
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              The diagnosis of primary aldosteronism and separation of two major subtypes.

              To develop a simple screening and diagnostic test for primary aldosteronism and to compare it with established techniques. Comparison of several techniques for screening, diagnosis, and differentiation of primary aldosteronism using normotensive and hypertensive subjects. Four hundred thirty-four normotensive subjects, 263 essential hypertensive subjects, 48 subjects with primary aldosteronism due to a unilateral adrenal adenoma, and 14 in whom primary aldosteronism was associated with findings of bilateral hyperaldosteronism were studied. Plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone were measured in venous blood obtained at 8 AM after 2 hours of ambulation and compared with established suppressive (plasma aldosterone) and stimulatory (plasma renin activity) maneuvers used for the diagnosis of primary aldosteronism. The ratio of plasma aldosterone to plasma renin activity provided complete separation of patients with primary aldosteronism from the normal and essential hypertensive groups. Moreover, based on the use of traditional localizing procedures separating unilateral hyperaldosteronism due to a solitary adenoma from bilateral hyperaldosteronism, confirmed by surgical intervention in the former subgroup, the ratio provided differentiation of these two forms of primary aldosteronism. The use of the plasma aldosterone to plasma renin activity ratio appears to be useful in the screening, diagnosis, and differentiation of unilateral and bilateral forms of primary aldosteronism. These observations may also be applicable to patients receiving some antihypertensive medications.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                June 2007
                19 September 2006
                : 108
                : 1
                : 48-50
                Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala., USA
                95787 Cardiology 2007;108:48–50
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 1, References: 8, Pages: 3
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