Also known as Conn's syndrome, primary aldosteronism, and secondary aldosteronism, this disorder takes several forms. It often begins with a tumor that produces aldosterone. In fact, approximately 60–70% of the cases of primary aldosteronism result from tumors in the adrenal gland area. Aldosterone is normally produced by the adrenal cortex, or the outer portion of the gland that rests on top of each kidney. Primary aldosteronism is due to adenoma, a typically benign tumor in which the cells form to act as glands or cause the glands on which they rest to overproduce. It can cause a number of problems, most notably hypertension. In secondary aldosteronism, factors outside the adrenal gland may cause overproduction tion of aldosterone, or overproduction of renin, an enzyme stored in the kidney area that stimulates aldosterone and raises blood pressure. Obstructive renal artery disease may also cause hypertension from elevated renin stimulating aldosterone. Oral contraceptives have been known to increase the secretion of aldosterone in some patients. This disorder is more common in women.
Teresa Norris RN, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,