How is primary hyperaldosteronism diagnosed?

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Patients suspected of having primary hyperaldosteronism based on signs, symptoms, or resistant hypertension should be tested. The best screening tests to determine if a patient has primary hyperaldosteronism are simple blood tests that measure the levels of potassium, aldosterone, and renin in the blood. Patients with primary hyperaldosteronism will classically have high aldosterone levels and suppressed renin levels (very low). They will often also have low potassium levels. If the screening tests suggest primary hyperaldosteronism, then additional testing may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. The confirmatory tests involve trying to suppress (lower) the amount of aldosterone that is being made by giving the patient a medication through the veins (IV or intravenous fluid). If the aldosterone levels are still high and the renin levels are still low after these maneuvers, the diagnosis is confirmed.

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