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Primary hyperaldosteronism can lead to high blood pressure. We look at the symptoms it can cause and how it can be treated.
A definitive diagnosis of PH can be made by means of adrenal vein sampling. This is a day procedure undertaken by a consultant radiologist. A catheter is fed into the femoral vein in the groin and blood samples are taken from the adrenal veins. This test will establish whether only one or both adrenal glands are causing the condition.
If both adrenal glands are responsible for the condition, or if the patient is found to have a genetic cause for PH (and this will have been tested for before adrenal vein sampling was undertaken) treatment with an anti-aldosterone hormone tablet such as Spironolactone, will be commenced. This long-term treatment is effective in reducing blood pressure and correcting low potassium, if present.
Patients will also be advised to maintain a low-salt diet. If potassium needs to be supplemented, this can be by diet or medication. Initial review following operative or medical treatment is in clinic and any further follow-up can continue there or transfer to the GP’s surgery. The prognosis following treatment for PH is excellent.