Phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of familial hyperkalaemic hypertension (Gordon syndrome)

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2001 Dec;28(12):1048-52. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1681.2001.03575.x.


1. Familial hyperkalaemic hypertension (FHH), also called pseudohypoaldosteronism type II (PHA2) or Gordon syndrome, is a rare Mendelian-form of low-renin hypertension. The first cases of FHH were reported approximately 30 years ago and they described the peculiar biochemical abnormalities (i.e. hyperkalaemia and hyperchloraemic acidosis despite a normal glomerular filtration rate). 2. Since then, more than 90 single cases and families have been reported in the literature. These various reports show marked differences in phenotype. 3. Our group has now collected 14 unrelated pedigrees originating from different parts of France and Europe. We confirm the large variations in the age of discovery and in the severity of the biochemical abnormalities from one individual to another and from one family to another one. 4. Blood pressure levels have no significant relationship with hyperkalaemia or hyperchloraemia, but there is a positive relationship with age, as in the normal population. 5. Analyses of clinical features and Mendelian segregation in our families demonstrate autosomal-dominant inheritance, as expected from the literature. 6. Efforts have been made in the past years to unravel the gene responsible for the disease. Until now, a primary responsibility of the gene encoding the thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransporter (SLC12A3) has been excluded in PHA2 families. Three loci have been identified on chromosomes 1 (PHA2A), 17 (PHA2B) and 12 (PHA2C). 7. More recently, analysis of three additional pedigrees, including 10 affected subjects, with over 25 members allowed us to demonstrate further genetic heterogeneity and the existence of at least a fourth locus. 8. The genetic heterogeneity of this syndrome, and thus the variety of molecular defects, suggests the role of either several new components of the same pathway, multiple aldosterone- regulated effectors or direct or indirect partners of the Na-Cl cotransporter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Female
  • Genetic Heterogeneity*
  • Humans
  • Hyperkalemia / genetics*
  • Hyperkalemia / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / genetics
  • Syndrome


  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase