Bilateral aldosteronoma associated with secondary aldosteronism in a chronic hemodialysis subject

Intern Med. 2010;49(11):1017-21. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.49.2808. Epub 2010 Jun 1.


We demonstrated a rare case of bilateral aldosteronoma accompanied by secondary aldosteronism in a 37-year-old man with chronic renal failure on hemodialysis. He initially developed immunoglobulin A nephropathy at 11 years old, and had been treated with hemodialysis since the age of 17 years. His blood pressure was 110/68 mmHg, and no other abnormal findings were detected. Laboratory findings revealed that serum potassium was 3.9 mmol/L; plasma renin activity, 4.8 ng/ml/h and plasma aldosterone, 19,000 pg/mL. Abdominal computed tomography revealed bilateral adrenocortical tumors, measuring 34 and 40 mm in diameter in right and left tumors, respectively. (131)I-Adosterol scintigram showed bilateral accumulation. Left adrenalectomy was performed under laparoscopy. The tumor was encapsulated and well-circumscribed. The majority of the tumor was composed of a dark-brown portion admixed with sporadic foci of golden-yellow portions. Hyaline degeneration was detected in its central portion. The tumor was composed of clear cortical cells in viable portions. Tumor cells demonstrated immunoreactivity for the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme, 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD II) and 21-hydroxylase, but not 17 alpha-hydroxylase. In the adjacent non-neoplastic adrenals, 3 beta-HSD II was markedly present in the hyperplastic glomerulosa zone. These findings suggest that the presence of secondary aldosteronism, which is closely related to the conditions of chronic renal failure on hemodialysis, eventually promoted the development of bilateral aldosteronoma from the zona glomerulosa hyperplasia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / etiology
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperaldosteronism / diagnosis*
  • Hyperaldosteronism / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*