Who it affects
Conn`s syndrome or primary hyperaldosteronism occurs in 2% of patients with high blood pressure.
What gland is involved
The adrenal glands are affected in this disorder. There are 2 adrenal glands. They are small star shaped glands that lie above each kidney. In Conn`s syndrome, there may be a discrete benign adrenal lesion that secretes aldosterone. More rarely, both adrenal glands may be enlarged and over-secrete aldosterone.
Patients with this disorder usually have high blood pressure. Patients may also have a low potassium level on blood tests.
To diagnose this illness, blood tests for aldosterone and renin are required. In addition patients will require a CT or MRI scan of the adrenal glands.
In most cases, Conn`s syndrome is due to a single benign lesion in one adrenal gland and therefore curable with surgery. This is increasingly performed laproscopically. In rarer cases where both adrenal glands appear to be a fault with no discrete lesion, surgery is usually avoided and medication such as Spironolactone is used long-term to control aldosterone effects and blood pressure.
Outlook The outlook is very good for patients with Conns`s syndrome, although high blood pressure may persist.