A new diagnostic test for primary aldosteronism. Coruzzi P, Musiari L, Biggi A, Carra N, Panzali AF, Novarini A. SourceIstituto di Semeiotica Medica, Università di Parma, Italy. Abstract Isotonic-isooncotic central volume expansion by head-out water immersion was induced in six aldosterone-producing adenoma subjects and in six patients with idiopathic hyperaldosteronism. Plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone levels did not significantly change during water immersion while serum cortisol was significantly suppressed (P less than .001) and the aldosterone-cortisol ratio increased (P less than .02) in aldosterone-producing adenoma patients. Water immersion also revealed the failure of plasma aldosterone levels to decrease below 10 ng/dL in these subjects, thus confirming previous results obtained during isotonic saline infusion. Otherwise, plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone were significantly reduced (P less than .05 and P less than .01 respectively) by water immersion and plasma aldosterone invariably fell below 10 ng/dL in patients with idiopathic aldosteronism. In view of the diagnostic reliability of such a suppression test we conclude that water immersion is suitable for discriminating between the two forms of primary aldosteronism. We therefore suggest its use for assessing renin-aldosterone responsiveness in primary aldosteronism.
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