Aldosterone suppression on contralateral adrenal during adrenal vein sampling does not predict blood pressure response after adrenalectomy

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Nov;99(11):4158-66. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-2345. Epub 2014 Aug 13.


Context: Adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is the only reliable means to distinguish between aldosterone-producing adenoma and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, the two most common subtypes of primary aldosteronism (PA). AVS protocols are not standardized and vary widely between centers.

Objective: The objective of the study was to retrospectively investigate whether the presence of contralateral adrenal (CL) suppression of aldosterone secretion was associated with improved postoperative outcomes in patients who underwent unilateral adrenalectomy for PA.

Setting: The study was carried out in eight different referral centers in Italy, Germany, and Japan.

Patients: From 585 consecutive AVS in patients with confirmed PA, 234 procedures met the inclusion criteria and were used for the subsequent analyses.

Results: Overall, 82% of patients displayed contralateral suppression. This percentage was significantly higher in ACTH stimulated compared with basal procedures (90% vs 77%). The CL ratio was inversely correlated with the aldosterone level at diagnosis and, among AVS parameters, with the lateralization index (P = .02 and P = .01, respectively). The absence of contralateral suppression was not associated with a lower rate of response to adrenalectomy in terms of both clinical and biochemical parameters, and patients with CL suppression underwent a significantly larger reduction in the aldosterone levels after adrenalectomy.

Conclusions: For patients with lateralizing indices of greater than 4 (which comprised the great majority of subjects in this study), CL suppression should not be required to refer patients to adrenalectomy because it is not associated with a larger blood pressure reduction after surgery and might exclude patients from curative surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / blood supply*
  • Adrenalectomy*
  • Aldosterone / blood*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperaldosteronism / blood
  • Hyperaldosteronism / diagnosis
  • Hyperaldosteronism / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aldosterone