Primary aldosteronism 2.0: an update for clinicians on diagnosis and treatment

Pol Arch Intern Med. 2023 Oct 26;133(10):16585. doi: 10.20452/pamw.16585. Epub 2023 Oct 11.


Primary aldosteronism (PA), characterized by inappropriately high concentrations of the adrenal-derived hormone aldosterone, is the most common endocrine cause of arterial hypertension. As compared with individuals with essential hypertension, patients with PA have a significantly increased cardiovascular risk that cannot be fully reversed by common antihypertensive treatment because of blood pressure-independent deleterious effects of aldosterone. Measurement of the aldosterone to renin ratio (ARR), reflecting the degree of aldosterone excess, is the classic screening test for PA, but thresholds for an elevated ARR vary substantially and are arbitrary, as there exists a wide disease continuum that spans from preclinical stages to overt PA. Treatment approaches for PA with either mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists for bilateral disease or unilateral adrenalectomy for aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA) are highly effective to mitigate the excess cardiovascular risk associated with PA. Subtype classification according to the dichotomous concept of unilateral PA, mainly due to APAs, vs bilateral PA, mainly due to bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, has been recently challenged by advances in the pathophysiologic understanding and therapeutic spectrum of PA. The implementation of current PA guidelines into clinical routine is extremely poor, as reflected by the fact that most patients suffering from PA remain undiagnosed and probably untreated. Pragmatic approaches are required to address this public health problem. In this review, we present an up‑to‑date overview on the clinical significance, diagnosis, and treatment of PA, with the aim to provide guidance for clinicians regarding the management of this disease, paying particular attention to its feasible implementation into daily clinical routine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenalectomy
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / complications
  • Aldosterone / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hyperaldosteronism* / diagnosis
  • Hyperaldosteronism* / therapy
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / etiology


  • Aldosterone