Hyperaldosteronism due to a unilateral adenoma must be distinguished from hyperaldosteronism due to bilateral hyperplasia to enable the proper choice between surgical treatment (for adenoma) or medical treatment (for hyperplasia). To compare the efficacy of computed tomography (CT) and adrenal venous sampling, both examinations were performed in 24 patients with primary aldosteronism. All patients with a diagnosis of adenoma based on findings at venous sampling underwent adrenalectomy. The CT-based diagnosis was unilateral aldosteronoma in 17 patients and hyperplasia in seven patients. On the basis of venous sampling, unilateral adenoma was diagnosed in 22 patients; this diagnosis was confirmed by means of unilateral adrenalectomy in 21 patients. The most common error was diagnosis of hyperplasia based on the presence of bilateral nodules on CT scans: In six of seven patients with such a diagnosis, venous sampling and subsequent surgery revealed a unilateral adenoma. In hyperaldosteronism with multiple bilateral nodules, CT cannot reliably permit distinction between hyperplasia and adenoma.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JJ86600019
View details for PubMedID 1509049