Does ACTH improve the diagnostic performance of adrenal vein sampling for subtyping primary aldosteronism?

Wolley, Martin J., Ahmed, Ashraf H., Gordon, Richard D. and Stowasser, Michael (2016) Does ACTH improve the diagnostic performance of adrenal vein sampling for subtyping primary aldosteronism?. Clinical Endocrinology, . doi:10.1111/cen.13110


Author Wolley, Martin J.
Ahmed, Ashraf H.
Gordon, Richard D.
Stowasser, Michael
Title Does ACTH improve the diagnostic performance of adrenal vein sampling for subtyping primary aldosteronism?
Journal name Clinical Endocrinology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2265
0300-0664
Publication date 2016-06-23
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cen.13110
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is used for determining treatment options for primary aldosteronism (PA), but is a difficult procedure. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) infusion or bolus has been reported to improve AVS success rates by increasing cortisol secretion, but effects on lateralization are controversial. We therefore assessed the effects of ACTH in regard to AVS success and lateralization in our unit, after a change in protocol to ACTH-stimulated AVS.

Setting: AVS was performed after overnight recumbency in patients with PA confirmed by fludrocortisone suppression testing. Bilateral sequential sampling was performed before and after an intravenous bolus of 250 mcg of ACTH. Lateralization was defined as an aldosterone/cortisol ratio in one adrenal vein at least twice peripheral, combined with a contralateral adrenal ratio no higher than peripheral (contralateral suppression).

Results: In 47 AVS procedures, the median adrenal/peripheral cortisol gradient increased on the left (11·6 vs 18·2 μg/100 ml, P < 0·001) and right (15·6 vs 31·5 μg/100 ml, P < 0·001) after ACTH. A total of 34 of 47 studies were diagnostic pre-ACTH (six failing because of low aldosterone levels bilaterally and seven failing to cannulate one or both sides) vs 44 of 47 (P = 0·011) studies diagnostic post-ACTH (failure to cannulate one or both sides in 3). Concordance between diagnostic studies pre- and post-ACTH was 91%, but two bilateral cases became unilateral after ACTH and one unilateral case before ACTH was bilateral afterwards.

Conclusions: ACTH improved cortisol gradients and aldosterone secretion, resulting in a reduction in the proportion of nondiagnostic studies. There was a low proportion of discordance between pre- and post-ACTH diagnoses, the significance of which is unclear.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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