Post-saline infusion test aldosterone levels indicate severity and outcome in primary aldosteronism

Marianne Weigel, Anna Riester, Gregor Hanslik, Katharina Lang, Holger S Willenberg, Stephan Endres, Bruno Allolio, Felix Beuschlein, Martin Reincke, Marcus Quinkler

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17 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The saline infusion test (SIT) is widely used as a confirmatory test for primary aldosteronism (PA). SIT results are judged as follows: post-test aldosterone levels <50 ng/l exclude PA, whereas levels >50 ng/l confirm PA. We hypothesized that post-SIT aldosterone concentrations indicate the severity of PA and might predict outcome.

DESIGN: The study includes 256 PA patients of the German Conn's Registry who prospectively underwent SIT. The data of 126 patients with complete follow-up of 1.2±0.3 years after diagnosis were analyzed. The patients were divided into two groups with post-SIT aldosterone levels of 50-100 ng/l (group 1; n=38) and of >100 ng/l (group 2; n=88).

RESULTS: Patients in group 2 had a significantly shorter duration of hypertension (7.5 vs 11.7 years (median), P=0.014), higher systolic blood pressure (BP; 151±16 vs 143±17 mmHg, P=0.036), lower serum potassium (3.3±0.6 vs 3.5±0.4 mmol/l, P=0.006), higher 24-h urine protein excretion (7.4 vs 5.4 mg/dl (median), P=0.012), and were more often female (P=0.038). They showed more often unilateral disease (P<0.005) with larger tumors (14±10 vs 7±10 mm, P=0.021), underwent more often adrenalectomy (75% vs 37%, P<0.005), required a lower number of antihypertensive drugs after adrenalectomy (1.2±1.2 vs 2.5±1.4, P=0.001), had a faster normalization of urinary protein excretion (with medical treatment P=0.049; with Adx P<0.005) at follow-up, and more frequently underlying well-characterized mutation (P=0.047).

CONCLUSIONS: PA patients with post-SIT aldosterone levels of >100 ng/l have a more rapid development of PA caused more frequently by unilateral disease with larger aldosterone-producing adenomas. However, this group of patients may have a significantly better outcome following specific treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-50
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • Adrenalectomy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aldosterone
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Endocrine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperaldosteronism
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Prognosis
  • Registries
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Treatment Outcome


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