Subtype Diagnosis of Primary Aldosteronism: Is Adrenal Vein Sampling Always Necessary?
ABSTRACT: Aldosterone producing adenoma and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia are the two most common subtypes of primary aldosteronism (PA) that require targeted and distinct therapeutic approaches: unilateral adrenalectomy or lifelong medical therapy with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. According to the 2016 Endocrine Society Guideline, adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is the gold standard test to distinguish between unilateral and bilateral aldosterone overproduction and therefore, to safely refer patients with PA to surgery. Despite significant advances in the optimization of the AVS procedure and the interpretation of hormonal data, a standardized protocol across centers is still lacking. Alternative methods are sought to either localize an aldosterone producing adenoma or to predict the presence of unilateral disease and thereby substantially reduce the number of patients with PA who proceed to AVS. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in subtyping PA for the diagnosis of unilateral and bilateral disease. We focus on the developments in the AVS procedure, the interpretation criteria, and comparisons of the performance of AVS with the alternative methods that are currently available.
Project description:Adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is required to distinguish unilateral from bilateral aldosterone sources in primary aldosteronism (PA), and cortisol is used for AVS data interpretation, but cortisol has several pitfalls. In this study, we present the utility of several other steroids in PA subtyping, both during AVS, as well as in peripheral serum. We included patients with PA who underwent AVS at University of Michigan between 2012 and 2018. We used mass spectrometry to simultaneously quantify 17 steroids in adrenal veins (AV) and periphery, both at baseline and after cosyntropin administration. PA was classified as unilateral or bilateral based on a lateralization index ? or <4, respectively, separately for baseline and post-cosyntropin administration. Of 131 participants, AV catheterizations was deemed failed in 28 (21 %) patients (36 AVs) at baseline. Eight steroids demonstrated higher AV/periphery ratios than cortisol (<i>P</i><0.01 for all); 11?-hydroxyandrostenedione, 11-deoxycortisol, and corticosterone rescued most failed baseline catheterizations. Lateralization was generally consistent when using these alternative steroids. Based on pre- and post-cosyntropin data, the remaining 103 patients were classified as: U/U, 37; B/B, 32; U/B, 20; B/U, 14. Discriminant analysis of multi-steroid panels from peripheral serum showed distinct profiles across the 4 groups, with highest aldosterone, 18-oxocortisol and 11-deoxycorticosterone in U/U patients. In conclusion, 11?-hydroxyandrostenedione and 11-deoxycortisol are superior to cortisol for AVS data interpretation. Single assay multi-steroid panels measured in peripheral serum are helpful in stratified PA subtyping and have the potential to circumvent AVS in a subset of patients with PA.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The current study aimed to evaluate the role of Küpers' score in predicting unilateral aldosteronism, and develop a modified score in Chinese patients with primary aldosteronism.<h4>Methods</h4>The current retrospective study included 406 patients with primary aldosteronism who underwent successful adrenal venous sampling (AVS) and were divided into the unilateral (n?=?211) and bilateral (n?=?195) groups according to the AVS results. Normokalemia was noted in both the unilateral (n?=?64) and bilateral groups (n?=?84) when plasma and urinary aldosterone were measured.<h4>Results</h4>We evaluated Küpers' prediction score, which had the best cutoff value at four points [area under the curve, 0.601 (95% confidence interval 0.551-0.650); specificity, 53%; sensitivity, 62%]. Then, we modified this score by using urinary aldosterone level quartiles, history of hypokalemia, and typical adenoma more than 10?mm on computed tomography (CT) [area under the curve, 0.745 (95% confidence interval 0.667-0.813)]; sensitivity, 45.3%; specificity, 90.5%). The best cutoff value to discriminate unilateral from bilateral disease was a score of 5. This modified prediction score only applied to patients who were normokalemic when urinary aldosterone was measured. A specificity of 100% was achieved at a score of 6 for patients aged 40 years or less, and 5 when the adrenal lesion was on the right side on CT imaging.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Küpers' prediction score is not suitable for our patients. Urinary aldosterone levels combined with a history of hypokalemia are useful to discriminate unilateral from bilateral aldosteronism in patients with typical adenoma on the right adrenal gland on CT or in patients 40 years old or less.
Project description:Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation is recommended in adrenal vein sampling (AVS) for primary aldosteronism (PA) to improve the AVS success rate. However, this method can confound the subtype diagnosis. Gene mutations or pathological characteristics may be related to lateralization by AVS. This study aimed to compare the rate of diagnostic discrepancy by AVS pre- versus post-ACTH stimulation and to investigate the relationship between this discrepancy and findings from immunohistochemical and genetic analyses of PA. We evaluated 195 cases of AVS performed in 2011-2017. All surgical specimens were analyzed genetically and immunohistochemically. Based on the criteria, AVS was successful in 158 patients both pre- and post-ACTH; of these patients, 75 showed diagnostic discrepancies between pre- and post-ACTH. Thus, 19 patients underwent unilateral adrenalectomy, of whom 16 had an aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) that was positive for CYP11B2 immunostaining. Of them, 10 patients had discordant lateralization between pre- and post-ACTH. In the genetic analysis, the rate of somatic mutations was not significantly different between APA patients with versus without a diagnostic discrepancy. In the immunohistochemical analysis, CYP11B2 levels and the frequency of aldosterone-producing cell clusters (APCCs) in APAs were almost identical between patients with versus without a diagnostic discrepancy. However, both the number and summed area of APCCs in APAs were significantly smaller in patients with concordant results than in those whose diagnosis changed to bilateral PA post-ACTH stimulation. In conclusion, lateralization by AVS was affected by APCCs in the adjacent gland, but not by APA-related factors such as somatic gene mutations.
Project description:Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a common form of endocrine hypertension that is characterized by the excessive production of aldosterone relative to suppressed plasma renin levels. PA is usually caused by either a unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma or bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. Somatic mutations have been identified in several genes that encode ion pumps and channels that may explain the aldosterone excess in over half of aldosterone-producing adenomas, whereas the pathophysiology of bilateral adrenal hyperplasia is largely unknown. A number of mouse models of hyperaldosteronism have been described that recreate some features of the human disorder, although none replicate the genetic basis of human PA. Animal models that reproduce the genotype-phenotype associations of human PA are required to establish the functional mechanisms that underlie the endocrine autonomy and deregulated cell growth of the affected adrenal and for preclinical studies of novel therapeutics. Herein, we discuss the differences in adrenal physiology across species and describe the genetically modified mouse models of PA that have been developed to date.
Project description:CONTEXT:Cosyntropin [ACTH (1-24)] stimulation during adrenal vein (AV) sampling (AVS) enhances the confidence in the success of AV cannulation and circumvents intraprocedure hormonal fluctuations. Cosyntropin's effect on primary aldosteronism (PA) lateralization, however, is controversial. OBJECTIVES:To define the major patterns of time-dependent lateralization, and their determinants, after cosyntropin stimulation during AVS. METHODS:We retrospectively studied patients with PA who underwent AVS before, 10, and 20 minutes after cosyntropin stimulation between 2009 and 2018. Unilateral (U) or bilateral (B) PA was determined on the basis of a lateralization index (LI) value ?4 or <4, respectively. Available adrenal tissue underwent aldosterone synthase-guided next-generation sequencing. RESULTS:PA lateralization was concordant between basal and cosyntropin-stimulated AVS in 169 of 222 patients (76%; U/U, n = 110; B/B, n = 59) and discordant in 53 patients (24%; U/B, n = 32; B/U, n = 21). Peripheral and dominant AV aldosterone concentrations and LI were highest in U/U patients and progressively lower across intermediate and B/B groups. LI response to cosyntropin increased in 27% of patients, decreased in 33%, and remained stable in 40%. Baseline aldosterone concentrations predicted the LI pattern across time (P < 0.001). Mutation status was defined in 61 patients. Most patients with KCNJ5 mutations had descending LI, whereas those with ATP1A1 and ATP2B3 mutations had ascending LI after cosyntropin stimulation. CONCLUSION:Patients with severe PA lateralized robustly regardless of cosyntropin use. Cosyntropin stimulation reveals intermediate PA subtypes; its impact on LI varies with baseline aldosterone concentrations and aldosterone-driver mutations.
Project description:Introduction: Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a major cause of secondary hypertension. The two principal forms of PA are bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (BAH) and aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) whose differentiation is clinically pivotal, due to their different treatments. Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is considered to be the gold standard for the differentiation of the two clinical entities, but it is invasive, requires great expertise and is unavailable in many centers. There would be a major clinical need for a reliable and easily accessible diagnostic biomarker. Circulating microRNA were shown to be useful as minimally invasive diagnostic markers in many diseases, but their potential applicability in PA has not yet been investigated. Aims: To determine and compare the circulating microRNA expression profiles of AVS-confirmed APA and BAH plasma samples, and to evaluate their applicability as minimally invasive markers. Methods: 81 AVS-confirmed plasma samples were included. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed on 30 EDTA-anticoagulated plasma samples. Significantly differently expressed miRNAs were validated by real-time RT-qPCR on all samples. Results: We have found relative overexpression of miR-30e-5p, miR-30d-5p, miR-223-3p and miR-7-5p in BAH compared to APA by NGS. Validation of 81 samples confirmed significant overexpression (p=0.03) of miR-7-5p. Regarding the microRNA expressional variations, APA is more heterogenous at the miRNA level compared to BAH. Conclusion: miR-7-5p was significantly overexpressed in BAH samples compared to APA samples, but its sensitivity and specificity values are not good enough for introduction to the clinical practice yet. Overall design: Altogether 30 samples were investigated by high-throughput miRNA expression profiling (16 aldosterone-producing adenomas and 14 bilateral adrenal hyperplasias)
Project description:Context:Whether primary aldosteronism (PA) is the consequence of a monoclonal or multiclonal process is unclear. Case Description:A 48-year-old man with severe bilateral PA refractory to medical therapy underwent unilateral adrenalectomy of the dominant adrenal. Although computed tomography showed three left-sided cortical nodules, postsurgical histopathology and genetic analysis revealed five different adrenocortical adenomas. Two zona fasciculata (ZF)-like aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) each harbored distinct known somatic KCNJ5 mutations (L168R and T158A). A zona glomerulosa-like APA harbored a known CACNA1D G403R somatic mutation, whereas a zona reticularis-like adenoma, which was grossly black in pigmentation with histologic characteristics more associated with cortisol-producing adenomas, expressed CYP11B2, CYP17, and DHEA-ST by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and harbored no known somatic mutations. The fifth adenoma was ZF-type, negative for CYP11B2 and CYP17 IHC, and harbored no known somatic mutations. Conclusions:This case highlights complex intertumor heterogeneity in histology, steroidogenesis, and somatic mutations in multiple adrenocortical adenomas arising in a single patient with PA. These findings suggest that the syndrome of PA can involve heterogeneous and multiclonal functional adrenal adenomas.
Project description:Unilateral primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common surgically curable form of hypertension that must be accurately differentiated from bilateral PA for therapeutic management (surgical versus medical). Adrenalectomy results in biochemical cure (complete biochemical success) in almost all patients diagnosed with unilateral PA; the remaining patients with partial or absent biochemical success comprise those with persisting aldosteronism who were misdiagnosed as unilateral PA preoperatively. To identify determinants of postsurgical biochemical outcomes, we compared the adrenal histopathology and the peripheral venous steroid profiles of patients with partial and absent or complete biochemical success after adrenalectomy for unilateral PA. A large multicenter cohort of adrenals from patients with absent and partial biochemical success (n=43) displayed a higher prevalence of hyperplasia (49% versus 21%; P=0.004) and a lower prevalence of solitary functional adenoma (44% versus 79%; P<0.001) compared with adrenals from age- and sex-matched patients with PA with complete biochemical success (n=52). We measured the peripheral plasma steroid concentrations in a subgroup of these patients (n=43) and in a group of patients with bilateral PA (n=27). Steroid profiling was associated with histopathologic phenotypes (solitary functional adenoma, hyperplasia, and aldosterone-producing cell clusters) and classified patients according to biochemical outcome or diagnosis of bilateral PA. If validated, peripheral venous steroid profiling may be a useful tool to guide the decision to perform surgery based on expectations of biochemical outcome after the procedure.
Project description: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.
Project description:In primary aldosteronism (PA) the differentiation of unilateral aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA) from bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (BAH) is usually performed by adrenal venous sampling (AVS) and/or computed tomography (CT). CT alone often lacks the sensitivity to identify micro-APAs. Our objectives were to establish if steroid profiling could be useful for the identification of patients with micro-APAs and for the development of an online tool to differentiate micro-APAs, macro-APAs and BAH. The study included patients with PA (n?=?197) from Munich (n?=?124) and Torino (n?=?73) and comprised 33 patients with micro-APAs, 95 with macro-APAs, and 69 with BAH. Subtype differentiation was by AVS, and micro- and macro-APAs were selected according to pathology reports. Steroid concentrations in peripheral venous plasma were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. An online tool using a random forest model was built for the classification of micro-APA, macro-APA and BAH. Micro-APA were classified with low specificity (33%) but macro-APA and BAH were correctly classified with high specificity (93%). Improved classification of micro-APAs was achieved using a diagnostic algorithm integrating steroid profiling, CT scanning and AVS procedures limited to patients with discordant steroid and CT results. This would have increased the correct classification of micro-APAs to 68% and improved the overall classification to 92%. Such an approach could be useful to select patients with CT-undetectable micro-APAs in whom AVS should be considered mandatory.