SynopsisCodesDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsReferences
Primary aldosteronism
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Primary aldosteronism

Contributors: Catherine Moore MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Primary aldosteronism, also known as primary hyperaldosteronism and Conn syndrome, is an adrenal gland disorder characterized by overproduction of aldosterone, resulting in sodium and water retention, hypokalemia, and metabolic alkalosis. Notably the clinical presentation of primary aldosteronism is highly variable, with the majority of affected patients presenting with normokalemia rather than hypokalemia. Adrenal gland adenoma and adrenal gland hyperplasia can cause this condition.

Screening should be considered in hypertensive patients with hypokalemia or low-dose diuretic induced hypokalemia, severe hypertension, those with hypertension and an adrenal incidentaloma, and patients with hypertension and a positive family history for primary aldosteronism, early onset hypertension, or stroke.


E26.09 – Other primary hyperaldosteronism

190507007 – Primary hyperaldosteronism

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Differential diagnoses of hypertension and hypokalemia:
  • Renovascular hypertension – in this case, both renin and aldosterone will be elevated
  • Chronic diuretic use in a hypertensive patient
  • Chronic licorice ingestion
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Glucocorticoid-remediable aldosteronism
  • Liddle syndrome
  • Renin-secreting tumor

Best Tests

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Last Updated:08/09/2016
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Primary aldosteronism
A medical illustration showing key findings of Primary aldosteronism : Muscle weakness, Polyuria, Muscle cramp, Polydipsia, BP increased, K decreased
Copyright © 2023 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.