Value of adrenal venous sampling for lesion localization in primary aldosteronism.
ABSTRACT Distinguishing between unilateral and bilateral adrenal lesions is mandatory for surgical treatment of primary aldosteronism (PA). Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is considered the gold standard for identification and localization of the lesion or lesions causing PA. The objective of the present study was to determine the usefulness of AVS in PA patients.
From January 2001 to October 2011, 86 patients with the biochemical diagnosis of PA were retrospectively analyzed. The study group included 45 males and 41 females with a mean age of 50.7 ± 12.6 years, and all patients underwent adrenal computed tomography (CT) and AVS.
The catheterization success rate of AVS was 82.69 % (86/104). In addition, AVS revealed bilateral lesions in 15/75 patients with unilateral abnormalities diagnosed by CT. These patients underwent medical treatment instead of surgery. One patient had an adrenal mass on the right side, but AVS localized the lesion on the left side. This patient underwent left adrenalectomy. Furthermore, AVS revealed a unilateral lesion in 2/5 patients with bilateral abnormalities demonstrated by CT. These patients underwent unilateral adrenalectomy. Finally, AVS demonstrated localization in 1/6 of patients with no CT abnormalities who were subjected to surgery. Fifty-three patients with unilateral lesion and one patient with bilateral hypersecretion underwent surgical removal of the affected gland(s). All patients had resolution of hypokalemia and clinical improvement of hypertension.
Many patients (19/86, or 22.09 %) would have been inappropriately managed if decision making had been based solely on CT findings. Therefore, AVS is recommended before determining definitive PA management.