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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hyper- and hypoaldosteronism.

Aldosterone participates in blood volume and serum potassium homeostasis, which in turn regulate aldosterone secretion by the zona glomerulosa of the adrenal cortex. Autonomous aldosterone hypersecretion leads to hypertension and hypokalemia. Improved screening techniques have led to a re-evaluation of the frequency of primary aldosteronism among adults with hypertension, recognizing that normokalemic cases are more frequent than was previously appreciated. The genetic basis of glucocorticoid remediable aldosteronism has been elucidated and adequately explains most of the pathophysiologic features of this disorder. A new form of familial aldosteronism has been described, familial hyperaldosteronism type II; linkage analysis and direct mutation screening has shown that this disorder is unrelated to mutations in the genes for aldosterone synthase or the angiotensin II receptor. The features of aldosterone hypersecretion may be due to non-aldosterone-mediated mineralocorticoid excess. These include two causes of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (11 beta-hydroxylase deficiency and 17 alpha-hydroxylase deficiency), the syndrome of apparent mineralocorticoid excess (AME) due to 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11 beta-HSD) deficiency, primary glucocorticoid resistance, Liddle's syndrome due to activating mutations of the renal epithelial sodium channel, and exogenous sources of mineralocorticoid, such as licorice, or drugs, such as carbenoxolone. The features of mineralocorticoid excess are also often seen in Cushing's syndrome. Hypoaldosteronism may lead to hypotension and hyperkalemia. Hypoaldosteronism may be due to inadequate stimulation of aldosterone secretion (hyporeninemic hypoaldosteronism), defects in adrenal synthesis of aldosterone, or resistance to the ion transport effects of aldosterone, such as are seen in pseudohypoaldosteronism type I ( PHA I). PHA I is frequently due to mutations involving the amiloride sensitive epithelial sodium channel. Gordon's syndrome ( PHA type II) is due to resistance to the kaliuretic but not sodium reabsorptive effects of aldosterone for which the genetic basis is still unknown. This review aims to provide a survey of the clinical disorders of aldosterone excess and deficiency and their clinical management, with a focus on primary aldosteronism and isolated aldosterone deficiency.[1]


  1. Hyper- and hypoaldosteronism. Torpy, D.J., Stratakis, C.A., Chrousos, G.P. Vitam. Horm. (1999) [Pubmed]
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