Common cause of high blood pressure detected by Novel CT scan


eMediNexus    17 January 2023

Researchers led by doctors have recently developed a novel CT scan to reveal minute nodules in a hormone gland and treat high blood pressure by removing them. One in twenty patients with high blood pressure has nodules.


According to a previous study, gene mutations in the adrenal glands, which induce the production of excessive levels of aldosterone, account for 5–10% of cases of Hypertension. Aldosterone causes salt retention in the body, which increases blood pressure. Patients who have elevated blood levels of aldosterone are more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes and are resistant to treatment with routinely prescribed medications for Hypertension.


In the current study published in Nature Medicine, the researchers found a solution to a 60-year-old problem: how to identify hormone-producing nodules without doing a challenging catheter study that is only offered in a small number of hospitals and frequently ends in failure. The study also found that the scan can identify a subset of individuals who stop taking all their blood pressure medications following therapy when paired with a urine test.


The study included 128 patients with Hypertension due to aldosterone, and a new scan was done for these patients. The scan revealed that in two-thirds of patients with increased aldosterone secretion, from a benign nodule in just one of the adrenal glands that could be safely removed.


Metomidate, a radioactive dye that only binds to the aldosterone-producing nodule, is used in the scan in minimal doses. The scan was just as precise as the old catheter test, yet it was performed quickly, painlessly, and successfully on every patient.


These aldosterone-producing nodules, according to experts, are incredibly small and easily missed on a routine CT scan. After the dye injection, they glow for a few minutes, revealing themselves as the clear source of Hypertension, which can be cured. Due to the complexity and lack of available tests, 99 % of people have never received a diagnosis. Experts hope this new scanning method will positively change the diagnosis of Hypertension. 


(Source: https://theprint.in/health/study-novel-ct-scan-found-helpful-in-detecting-most-common-cause-of-high-blood-pressure/1318466/)

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