Aldosterone-producing adenoma associated with non-suppressed renin: a case series

J Hum Hypertens. 2022 Apr;36(4):373-380. doi: 10.1038/s41371-021-00525-4. Epub 2021 Mar 30.


Although the aldosterone/renin ratio (ARR) is the preferred screening test for primary aldosteronism (PA), patients with non-suppressed renin and a falsely negative ARR on non-interfering medications have occasionally been reported. This report describes the clinical characteristics and outcomes of seven patients with proven aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and non-suppressed renin.Chart review of seven PA patients with an APA and a non-suppressed plasma renin concentration (PRC > 8.4 mU/L) was undertaken to collect data on anthropometric and biochemical characteristics, diagnostic evaluation and postsurgical outcomes.Seven patients (two women and five men) with a proven APA had median (range) PRC, plasma aldosterone and ARR of 20 (9-43) mU/L, 750 (270-1940) pmol/L and 45 (8-62, normal <70), respectively, on non-interfering medications. Six patients had two consecutive ARR measurements and in five of them both were normal. Renal artery stenosis was carefully excluded in all patients. Further evaluation for PA was pursued because of high clinical suspicion (either hypokalaemia and/or a known adrenal mass lesion on imaging). All underwent adrenal vein sampling confirming unilateral PA which was managed by unilateral adrenalectomy. Postsurgical follow-up data either confirmed or were highly suggestive of cure of PA.Strict control of factors known to influence the ARR is crucial to avoid false-negative results. Other causes that could explain a non-suppressed renin should be excluded. In patients with a consistently non-suppressed renin further diagnostic workup for PA should be considered if clinical suspicion remains high.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma* / complications
  • Adenoma* / diagnosis
  • Adenoma* / surgery
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma* / complications
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma* / diagnosis
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma* / surgery
  • Aldosterone
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperaldosteronism* / complications
  • Hyperaldosteronism* / diagnosis
  • Hyperaldosteronism* / surgery
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Renin


  • Aldosterone
  • Renin