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Minerva Endocrinologica 2008 December;33(4):297-312


language: English

Endocrine arterial hypertension: therapeutic approach in clinical practice

Mazza A. 1, Armigliato M. 1, Zamboni S. 1, Rempelou P. 1, Rubello D. 2, Pessina A. C. 3, Casiglia E. 3

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Rovigo General Hospital, Rovigo, Italy 2 Unit of Nuclear Medicine, Rovigo General Hospital, Rovigo, Italy 3 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padova, Padua, Italy


This review describes the therapeutic approach of endocrine arterial hypertension in clinical practice. In mineralocorticoid-related hypertension, adrenalectomy is the treatment of choice for aldosterone-producing adenomas and monolateral primary aldosteronism, whereas pharmacologic blood pressure (BP) control is indicated for the other forms of primary aldosteronism such as bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. Spironolactone is the drug of choice, but intolerable side effects limit its use; amiloride or eplerenone are a valid alternative. If BP remains uncontrolled, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I), angiotensin II receptor antagonists (AII-RA) and calcium channel blockers (CCB) may be added. Hypertension accompanying Cushing’s syndrome can be approached with surgery, but antihypertensive treatment both pre- and postoperative is required as well. Eplerenone, AII-RA and ACE-I are indicated, while peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ agonists may help for the insulin resistance syndrome. Drugs that suppress steroidogenesis should be used with care because of their serious side effects. Subjects with catecholamine-dependent hypertension due to a neuroendocrine neoplasm need to undergo preoperative α-adrenergic blockade with phenoxybenzamine or doxazozine. When adequate α-adrenergic blockade is achieved, β-adrenergic blockade with low dose propranolol may be added. If target BP is not achieved, CCB and/or metyrosine are indicated. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is the procedure of choice for solitary intra-adrenal neoplasms <8 cm. Acute hypertensive crises that may occur before or during surgery should be treated intravenously with sodium nitroprusside, phentolamine, nicardipine or labetalol. For malignant neoplasms, chemo- and radiopharmaceutical therapy may be considered.

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