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Open access

Marieke Stientje Velema, Aline de Nooijer, Ad R M M Hermus, Henri J L M Timmers, Jacques W M Lenders, Olga Husson and Jaap Deinum

Objective

To develop a primary aldosteronism (PA) disease-specific Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) questionnaire.

Methods

We included newly diagnosed patients with PA (n = 26), and patients with PA after adrenalectomy (n = 25) or treated with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (n = 25). According to the guidelines for developing HRQoL questionnaires from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC): Phase I: systematic literature review followed by focus group meetings with patients (n = 13) resulting in a list of 94 HRQoL issues. Relevance of issues was rated by 18 other patients and by health care professionals (n = 15), resulting in 30 remaining issues. Phase II: selected issues were converted into questions. Phase III: the provisional questionnaire was pre-tested by a third group of patients (n = 45) who also completed the EORTC core Quality of Life questionnaire (QLQ-C30). Psychometric testing resulted in a final selection of questions with their scale structure.

Results

After the collection and selection of HRQoL issues a provisional questionnaire consisting of 30 items was formed. Of these items, 26 could be assigned to one of the four scales ‘physical and mental fatigue’, ‘anxiety and stress’, ‘fluid balance’ and ‘other complaints’ cumulatively accounting for 68% of variation in all items. All scales had good reliability and validity. There was a significant correlation of all four scales with the QLQ-C30 in most cases.

Conclusions

We developed the first PA-specific HRQoL questionnaire (PA-QoL) using standard, methodologically proven guidelines. After completion of the final validation (phase IV, international field testing), the questionnaire can be implemented into clinical practice.

Open access

Marieke S Velema, Evie J M Linssen, Ad R M M Hermus, Hans J M M Groenewoud, Gert-Jan van der Wilt, Antonius E van Herwaarden, Jacques W M Lenders, Henri J L M Timmers and Jaap Deinum

Objective

To develop a prediction model to confirm or exclude primary aldosteronism (PA) in patients with an inconclusive salt loading test (SLT).

Context

Diagnosis in patients with a suspicion of PA can be confirmed using an SLT. In case of inconclusive test results the decision about how to manage the patient is usually based on contextual clinical data.

Design

We included a retrospective cohort of 276 patients in the final analysis.

Methods

All patients underwent an SLT between 2005 and 2016 in our university medical center. The SLT was inconclusive (post-infusion aldosterone levels 140–280 pmol/L) in 115 patients. An expert panel then used contextual clinical data to diagnose PA in 45 of them. Together with 101 patients with a positive SLT this resulted in a total of 146 patients with PA. A total of 11 variables were used in a multivariable logistic regression analysis. We assessed internal validity by bootstrapping techniques.

Results

The following variables were independently associated with PA: more intense potassium supplementation, lower plasma potassium concentration, lower plasma renin concentration before SLT and higher plasma aldosterone concentration after SLT. The resulting prediction model had a sensitivity of 84.4% and a specificity of 94.3% in patients with an inconclusive SLT. The positive and negative predictive values were 90.5 and 90.4%, respectively.

Conclusions

We developed a prediction model for the diagnosis of PA in patients with an inconclusive SLT that results in a diagnosis that was in high agreement with that of an expert panel.