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A Multi-institutional Comparison of Adrenal Venous Sampling in Patients with Primary Aldosteronism: Caution Advised if Successful Bilateral Adrenal Vein Sampling is Not Achieved. World J Surg 2018 02;42(2):466-472



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85033435018   15 Citations


INTRODUCTION: In patients with primary aldosteronism (PA), adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is recommended to differentiate between unilateral (UNI) or bilateral (BIL) adrenal disease. A recent study suggested that lateralization could be predicted, based on the ratio of aldosterone/cortisol levels (A/C) between the left adrenal vein (LAV) and inferior vena cava (IVC), with a 100% positive predictive value (PPV). This study aimed to validate those findings utilizing a larger, multi-institutional cohort.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of patients with PA who underwent AVS from 2 tertiary-care institutions. Laterality was predicted by an A/C ratio of >3:1 between the dominant and non-dominant adrenal. AVS results were compared to LAV/IVC ratios utilizing the published criteria (LtA a?YA 5.5; RtA a??A 0.5).

RESULTS: Of 222 patients, 124 (57%) had UNI and 98 (43%) had BIL disease based on AVS. AVS and LAV/IVC findings were concordant for laterality in 141 (64%) patients (69 UNI, 72 BIL). Using only the LAV/IVC ratio, 54 (24%) patients with UNI disease on AVS who underwent successful surgery would have been assumed to have BAH unless AVS was repeated, and 24 (11%) patients with BIL disease on AVS may have been incorrectly offered surgery (PPV 70%). Based on median LAV/IVC ratios (left 5.26; right 0.31; BIL 2.84), no LAV/IVC ratio accurately predicted laterality.

DISCUSSION: This multi-institutional study of patients with both UNI and BIL PA failed to validate the previously reported PPV of LAV/IVC ratio for lateralization. Caution should be used in interpreting incomplete AVS data to differentiate between UNI versus BIL disease and strong consideration given to repeat AVS prior to adrenalectomy.

Author List

Wang TS, Kline G, Yen TW, Yin Z, Liu Y, Rilling W, So B, Findling JW, Evans DB, Pasieka JL


Douglas B. Evans MD Chair, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
James W. Findling MD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
William S. Rilling MD, FSIR Vice Chair, Professor in the Radiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Tracy S. Wang MD, MPH Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Tina W F Yen MD, MS Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adrenal Glands
Middle Aged
Renal Veins
Reproducibility of Results
Retrospective Studies
Vena Cava, Inferior
Young Adult