Document Detail

New perspectives on the role of aldosterone excess in cardiovascular disease.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11553016     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. Evidence from recent experimental and clinical studies suggests that excessive circulating levels of aldosterone can bring about adverse cardiovascular sequelae independent of the effects on blood pressure. Examples of these sequelae are the development of myocardial and vascular fibrosis in uninephrectomized, salt-loaded rats infused with mineralocorticoids and, in humans, an association of aldosterone with left ventricular hypertrophy, impaired diastolic and systolic function, salt and water retention causing aggravation of congestion in patients with established congestive cardiac failure (CCF), reduced vascular compliance and an increased risk of arrhythmias (resulting from intracardiac fibrosis, hypokalaemia, hypomagnesaemia, reduced baroreceptor sensitivity and potentiation of catecholamine effects). 2. These sequelae of aldosterone excess may contribute to the pathogenesis and worsen the prognosis of CCF and hypertension. 3. The heart and blood vessels may be capable of extra-adrenal aldosterone biosynthesis, raising the possibility that aldosterone may have paracrine or autocrine (and not just endocrine) effects on cardiovascular tissues. 4. The high prevalence of CCF, which is associated with secondary aldosteronism, and primary aldosteronism (PAL; recently recognized to be a much more common cause of hypertension than was previously thought) argue for an important role for aldosterone excess as a cause of cardiovascular injury. 5. The recognition of non-blood pressure-dependent adverse sequelae of aldosterone excess raises the question as to whether normotensive individuals with PAL, who have been detected as a result of genetic or biochemical screening among families with inherited forms of PAL, are at excess risk of cardiovascular events. 6. Provided that patients are carefully investigated in order to permit the appropriate selection of specific surgical (laparoscopic adrenalectomy for PAL that lateralizes on adrenal venous sampling) or medical (treatment with aldosterone antagonist medications) management and safety considerations for the use of aldosterone antagonists are kept in mind, the appreciation of a widening role for aldosterone in cardiovascular disease should provide a substantially better outlook for many patients with CCF and hypertension.
M Stowasser
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical and experimental pharmacology & physiology     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0305-1870     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2001 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-09-12     Completed Date:  2001-12-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0425076     Medline TA:  Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  783-91     Citation Subset:  IM    
Hypertension Unit, University Department of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Aldosterone / adverse effects,  metabolism*,  physiology
Heart Diseases / metabolism*,  therapy
Hyperaldosteronism / metabolism,  therapy
Reg. No./Substance:

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