Despite hyperaldosteronism being suggested as predisposing to arrhythmias, the relationship between atrial fibrillation
and primary aldosteronism remains uncertain. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that atrial fibrillation
is a presentation of primary aldosteronism in hypertensive patients with unexplained atrial fibrillation
Design and methods:
The Prospective Appraisal on the Prevalence of Primary Aldosteronism in Hypertensive (PAPPHY) Study recruited consecutive patients with atrial fibrillation
and an unambiguous diagnosis of arterial hypertension
at three referral centers for hypertension
In a cohort entailing 411 atrial fibrillation
patients, we identified 18% (age 61 ± 11 years; 32% women), who showed no known cause of the arrhythmia. A thorough diagnostic work-up allowed us to identify primary aldosteronism in 73 of these patients, i.e. 42% [95% confidence interval (CI) 31.8–53.9]. Subtyping of primary aldosteronism demonstrated that surgically curable forms of primary aldosteronism accounted for 48% of the cases (95% CI 31.9–65.2). The high prevalence of primary aldosteronism was confirmed at sensitivity analyses.
These results provided compelling evidence that primary aldosteronism is highly prevalent in hypertensive patients with unexplained atrial fibrillation
. Accordingly, they suggest that patients with no identifiable cause of the arrhythmia should be screened for primary aldosteronism to identify those who can be cured or markedly improved with target treatment.
Clinical Trial Registration: : https://clinicaltrials.gov
, Identifier: NCT01267747.