Primary aldosteronism (PA) is divided into two major subtypes, aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and bilateral idiopathic hyperplasia (IHA) and is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events. However, the nature of vascular function in PA patients remains to be determined. The aim of this study was to determine the vascular function and investigate the implications of vascular function assessments in the patients.
Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), as an index of endothelial function, and cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI), as an index of arterial stiffness, were retrospectively compared between 42 patients with APA, 37 patients with IHA, and 42 patients with essential hypertension (EH). These values were also compared with background factors, KCNJ5 mutation and clinical outcome in terms of blood pressure reduction after adrenalectomy in the APA group.
FMD was significantly lower in the APA group (4.8 ± 2.1%) and IHA group (4.1 ± 1.9%) than in the EH group (5.7 ± 2.1%). CAVI did not differ significantly among groups. Although no significant correlations were seen between FMD and background factors in the IHA group, FMD correlated negatively with BMI and plasma aldosterone concentration in the APA group (rs = −0.313, rs = −0.342, respectively). KCNJ5 mutational status was not associated with FMD value. High FMD was associated with blood pressure normalization after adrenalectomy in the APA group.
Patients with PA displayed impaired endothelial function. Complete clinical success after adrenalectomy was associated with preserved endothelial function. This study provides a better understanding of FMD assessment in patients with PA.