The first part of the diagnosis is series of blood tests to determine that you have too much aldosterone in your body and that it isn’t secondary to other causes.
Specifically, we will be measuring the levels of aldosterone, renin, and potassium (as well as some others). This may need to be repeated or done in a more sophisticated manner if the diagnosis is straightforward or you are taking certain medications for your blood pressure.
Once a hormonal diagnosis has been made, imaging will be done to try and localize the side of your adrenal tumor.
- Adrenal vein sampling is performed by interventional radiologists usually as an outpatient procedure.
- It involves sampling the blood in both of your adrenal veins via a large guidewire directed catheter and comparing the level of aldosterone on the right and lefts sides.
- If the tumor cannot be localized to either the right or left side, it is presumed that you have bilateral adrenal hyperplasia.
There is no role for needle biopsy and it is contraindicated.