To develop clinical practice guidelines for the management of patients with primary aldosteronism.
The Task Force included a chair, selected by the Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee of the Endocrine Society, six additional experts, a methodologist, and a medical writer. The guideline was cosponsored by American Heart Association, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, European Society of Endocrinology, European Society of Hypertension, International Association of Endocrine Surgeons, International Society of Endocrinology, International Society of Hypertension, Japan Endocrine Society, and The Japanese Society of Hypertension. The Task Force received no corporate funding or remuneration.
We searched for systematic reviews and primary studies to formulate the key treatment and prevention recommendations. We used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation group criteria to describe both the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations. We used "recommend" for strong recommendations and "suggest" for weak recommendations.
We achieved consensus by collecting the best available evidence and conducting one group meeting, several conference calls, and multiple e-mail communications. With the help of a medical writer, the Endocrine Society's Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee, Clinical Affairs Core Committee, and Council successfully reviewed the drafts prepared by the Task Force. We placed the version approved by the Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee and Clinical Affairs Core Committee on the Endocrine Society's website for comments by members. At each stage of review, the Task Force received written comments and incorporated necessary changes.
For high-risk groups of hypertensive patients and those with hypokalemia, we recommend case detection of primary aldosteronism by determining the aldosterone-renin ratio under standard conditions and recommend that a commonly used confirmatory test should confirm/exclude the condition. We recommend that all patients with primary aldosteronism undergo adrenal computed tomography as the initial study in subtype testing and to exclude adrenocortical carcinoma. We recommend that an experienced radiologist should establish/exclude unilateral primary aldosteronism using bilateral adrenal venous sampling, and if confirmed, this should optimally be treated by laparoscopic adrenalectomy. We recommend that patients with bilateral adrenal hyperplasia or those unsuitable for surgery should be treated primarily with a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist.