E Pimenta, R D Gordon, A H Ahmed, D Cowley, D Robson, C Kogovsek and M Stowasser
Experimental and human data suggest that adverse cardiovascular (CV) and renal effects of aldosterone excess are dependent on concomitant dietary salt intake.
Increased urinary protein (Uprot) is an early sign of nephropathy independently associated with CV risk. We have previously reported a positive association between Uprot and urinary sodium (UNa) in patients with hyperaldosteronism, but not in patients with normal aldosterone levels.
We aimed to determine whether Uprot is related to UNa in patients with aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and whether the degree of Uprot and strength of this relationship is reduced following correction of hyperaldosteronism. Subjects with APA (n=24) underwent measurement of 24 h Uprot and UNa before and after unilateral adrenalectomy (follow-up 15.0±11.9 months).
Following surgery, mean clinic systolic blood pressure fell (150.4±18.2 vs 134.5±14.5 mm Hg, P=0.0008), despite a reduction in number of antihypertensive medications, and Uprot (211.2±101.6 vs 106.0±41.8 mg per day, P<0.0001) decreased. There was a positive correlation between Uprot and UNa both before (r=0.5477, P=0.0056) and after (r=0.5097, P=0.0109) adrenalectomy. Changes in UNa independently predicted Uprot reduction (P=0.0189).
These findings suggest that both aldosterone levels and dietary salt contribute to renal damage, and that once glomerular damage occurs it is not completely resolved following correction of hyperaldosteronism. Our study suggests that treatment strategies based on reduction of aldosterone effects, by adrenalectomy or mineralocorticoid receptor blockade, in conjunction with low-salt diet would provide additional target-organ protection in patients with primary aldosteronism.