Hyperaldosteronism or Conn’s Disease
Conn’s disease (or Conn’s syndrome) is associated with increased secretion of the hormone aldosterone by the adrenal glands. Conn’s occurs when there is a unilateral adenoma (benign tumor) of the adrenal gland, causing a condition known as hyperaldosteronism. When both adrenal glands are making too much aldosterone, the condition is called bilateral adrenal hyperplasia.
Most cases of Conn’s occur in people between 30 and 50 years of age who have a benign tumor.
The condition occurs in about nine percent of all hypertensive patients, and symptoms primarily consist of high blood pressure. Other symptoms can include hypokalemia (low blood potassium level), headache and muscle weakness.
Diagnosis of Conn’s generally consists of scans to determine whether the patient has a single adenoma or hyperplasia of both adrenal glands. Blood tests may also be taken to determine whether the adrenal glands are secreting too much aldosterone.
Treatment for patients with adenoma generally consists of surgical removal, which can be performed via a minimally-invasive procedure called laparoscopic adrenalectomy. Patients with hyperplasia may be treated with drugs that block the effect of aldosterone.