Primary aldosteronism is a common cause of hypertension and is a risk factor for cardiovascular and renal morbidity and mortality, via mechanisms mediated by both hypertension and direct insults to target organs. Despite its high prevalence and associated complications, primary aldosteronism remains largely under-recognized, with less than 2% of people in at-risk populations ever tested. Fundamental progress made over the past decade has transformed our understanding of the pathogenesis of primary aldosteronism and of its clinical phenotypes. The dichotomous paradigm of primary aldosteronism diagnosis and subtyping is being redefined into a multidimensional spectrum of disease, which spans subclinical stages to florid primary aldosteronism, and from single-focal or multifocal to diffuse aldosterone-producing areas, which can affect one or both adrenal glands. This Review discusses how redefining the primary aldosteronism syndrome as a multidimensional spectrum will affect the approach to the diagnosis and subtyping of primary aldosteronism.
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