Primary aldosteronism (PA) represents a secondary form of arterial hypertension that can be cured by surgery. Evidence of adrenal insufficiency (AI) was recently found in PA patients that had undergone unilateral adrenalectomy (uADX).
To study the incidence and long-term outcome of post-operative AI after uADX for PA.
Prospective registry study (2014 until end of 2018).
Tertiary referral center.
100 consecutive patients undergoing uADX for PA were included. All patients underwent post-operative ACTH stimulation testing.
Post-operative ACTH stimulation testing to identify AI patients.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S)
Incidence of post-operative AI patients and definition of long-term outcome.
27% of patients developed post-operative AI. Out of these, 48% had post ACTH stimulation serum cortisol levels ≤ 13.5 µg/dl (severe adrenal insufficiency). 52% were classified into the group of moderate adrenal insufficiency (stimulated serum cortisol: 13.5 - 17 µg/dl). Patients with severe AI required significantly longer hydrocortisone replacement therapy than the moderate group (median 353 days [294; 476], 95% CI: 284 - 322 vs. 74 days [32; 293], 95% CI: 11 - 137; p= 0.016). One patient with severe AI was hospitalized for an acute adrenal crisis. With a cumulative follow-up of 14.5 years, this accounts to an incidence rate of 6.9 adrenal crises per 100 patient-years.
We suggest performing post-operative ACTH stimulation tests in all patients who undergo uADX for PA.