Primary aldosteronism is now thought to be the commonest potentially curable and specifically treatable form of hypertension. The detection of primary aldosteronism is of utmost importance not only because it provides an opportunity for a targeted treatment, but also because it has been demonstrated that patients with primary aldosteronism are more prone to cardiovascular events and target organ damage than essential hypertensives. Normalization of blood pressure and hypokalemia should not be the only goal of treatment. Normalization of circulating aldosterone or mineralocorticoid blockade is necessary to prevent aldosterone-induced tissue damage that occurs independent of blood pressure. This review will focus on the current understanding and comprehensive management review of primary aldosteronism, highlighting the new evidence that has become recently available.
We report a case of a 16 years old girl who presented sequentially with primary amenorrhoea, hypertension and hypokalaemia. Eight years later, she was finally diagnosed with 17alpha-hydroxylase deficiency congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Previous antihypertensive medications were stopped. Hydrocortisone alone successfully maintained normotension and normokalaemia.
Sixty patients who received massive blood transfusion intraoperatively and/or in the immediate post-operative period were analysed. Six patients had hypokalemia and two had hyperkalemia. The multifactorial changes leading to electrolyte disturbances especially involving potassium are discussed in relation to hypotension, hypothermia, acidosis, pH, and release of catecholamine. Potassium changes in relation to anaesthesia are discussed. The danger of routine administration of calcium during massive blood transfusion is stressed.
Recent discoveries of somatic mutations permit the recognition of subtypes of aldosterone-producing adenomas with distinct clinical presentations and pathological features. Here we describe three women with hyperaldosteronism, two who presented in pregnancy and one who presented after menopause. Their aldosterone-producing adenomas harbored activating mutations of CTNNB1, encoding β-catenin in the Wnt cell-differentiation pathway, and expressed LHCGR and GNRHR, encoding gonadal receptors, at levels that were more than 100 times as high as the levels in other aldosterone-producing adenomas. The mutations stimulate Wnt activation and cause adrenocortical cells to de-differentiate toward their common adrenal-gonadal precursor cell type. (Funded by grants from the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and others.).
OBJECTIVE: To characterise the clinical, biochemical and thyroid antibody profile in women with transient hyperthyroidism of hyperemesis gravidarum.
DESIGN: Prospective observational study.
SETTING: Hospital inpatient gynaecological ward.
POPULATION: Women admitted with hyperemesis gravidarum and found to have hyperthyroidism.
METHODS: Fifty-three women were admitted with hyperemesis gravidarum and were found to have hyperthyroidism. Each woman was examined for clinical signs of thyroid disease and underwent investigations including urea, creatinine, electrolytes, liver function test, thyroid antibody profile and serial thyroid function test until normalisation.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Gestation at which thyroid function normalised, clinical and thyroid antibody profile and pregnancy outcome (birthweight, gestation at delivery and Apgar score at 5 minutes).
RESULTS: Full data were available for 44 women. Free T4 levels normalised by 15 weeks of gestation in the 39 women with transient hyperthyroidism while TSH remained suppressed until 19 weeks of gestation. None of these women were clinically hyperthyroid. Thyroid antibodies were not found in most of them. Median birthweight in the infants of mothers who experienced weight loss of > 5% of their pre-pregnancy weight was lower compared with those of women who did not (P = 0.093). Five women were diagnosed with Graves' disease based on clinical features and thyroid antibody profile.
CONCLUSIONS: In transient hyperthyroidism of hyperemesis gravidarum, thyroid function normalises by the middle of the second trimester without anti-thyroid treatment. Clinically overt hyperthyroidism and thyroid antibodies are usually absent. Apart from a non-significant trend towards lower birthweights in the infants of mothers who experienced significant weight loss, pregnancy outcome was generally good. Routine assessment of thyroid function is unnecessary for women with hyperemesis gravidarum in the absence of any clinical features of hyperthyroidism.