Aldosteronoma are tumours that arise from a specific area in the adrenal cortex. These tumours tend to be benign with only about 5 percent being malignant. Adrenal glands are located just above each kidney and are part of the endocrine system. One function of the adrenal glands is to produce the hormone aldosterone, which regulates blood pressure and potassium levels in the blood. Aldosteronoma tend to produce excess aldosterone, which causes high blood pressure and low potassium blood levels. This tumour can often go undiagnosed for long periods.
Uncontrollable hypertension Headaches Malaise, muscle weakness, paresthesias, cramps, polyuria, and polydipsia. Sometimes low potassium level in the blood Prolong untreated disease may result in significant heart problems from long standing elevated blood pressure (left ventricular hypertrophy), which leads to myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke. Metabolic dysfunction (problems with metabolism), that can results in insulin resistance (diabetes) and gaining weight.
Patient usually has uncontrollable hypertension and low potassium level in the blood. Blood and urine tests for aldosterone and renin is confirm the chemical diagnosis. These tumors are usually small. Aldosteronoma is localized with a CT scan or MRI of the abdomen prior to planning surgery. Also selective sampling of the adrenal veins for aldosterone level helps with localization, since this tumor sometimes is very small (selective venous sampling). Selective venous sampling is invasive procedure that is performed by interventional radiologist. It requires very skilled radiologist who is very experienced with this technique to perform this procedure right, with good result and without complications.