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January 1962

Primary Aldosteronism: Case Observed in a Patient Subjected Previously to Thoracolumbar Sympathectomy

Author Affiliations


From the Edward B. Robinette Foundation and the Chemical Section, Department of Medicine, and the Harrison Department of Surgical Research, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(1):55-59. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620130057009

Following Conn's original description1-3 of the syndrome of primary aldosteronism in 1955, more than 50 patients have been reported in whom the disease was clearly present.4,5 We feel that the patient described in this report is of unusual interest for several reasons: She survived 8 years of severe hypertension before the discovery and removal of an adrenal cortical adenoma. As in another instance, our patient was subjected to bilateral thoracolumbar sympathectomies several years prior to the diagnosis of primary aldosteronism. Chlorothiazide, used in our patient in an attempt to lower her blood pressure prior to the discovery of her adrenal adenoma, appeared to precipitate symptoms of generalized muscular weakness such as have been associated with primary aldosteronism.4,5 Since the use of chlorothiazide and related drugs in the treatment of hypertension is by now widespread, it is possible that investigation of other patients who demonstrate similar responses to