Adrenal Disorders – Hyperaldosteronism

  • By: Terri
  • Date: April 29, 2010
  • Time to read: 1 min.
  • Frequent in adult females

Primary Hyperaldosteronism

  • Also known as Conn’s Syndrome
  • Overproduction of aldosterone
  • Adrenal cortex lesion:
    -Adrenocortical adenoma
    -Adrenal carcinoma
    -Bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (in children)
  • Associated with low plasma renin levels (positive feedback? due to increased blood volume from the action of aldosterone, initiating the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system)
  • Low K+ level (in exchange of Na+ by Na/K pump) –> muscle weakness

Secondary Hyperaldosteronism

  • High plasma renin levels – reninoma (not involved in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis)
  • High water retention (oedema)
  • Renal ischemia (?)

Clinical features

  • Retention of Na+ & water
  • Oedema
  • Hypertension (diastolic)
  • Hypokalemia –> muscle weakness –> peripheral neuropathy
  • Hypokalemia –> cardiac arrhythmia

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