The incidence of cardiovascular events is higher in patients with primary aldosteronism than in patients with essential hypertension (EHT), despite similar blood pressure levels. This suggests detrimental cardiovascular effects of aldosterone. Amongst others, it has been suggested that galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a key mediator in aldosterone-induced myocardial fibrosis.Objective:
We studied whether patients with primary aldosteronism have higher plasma Gal-3 concentrations than patients with EHT and evaluated its reversibility after adrenalectomy.Methods:
In a retrospective cohort from our tertiary referral centre, we measured plasma Gal-3 concentrations in 78 patients with primary aldosteronism, 39 cured primary aldosteronism patients after adrenalectomy and 56 patients with EHT. Paired samples were available in 11 patients (preadrenalectomy and postadrenalectomy). We compared plasma Gal-3 levels by univariate analysis of covariance with correction for cardiovascular risk factors, plasma creatinine concentration, plasma potassium levels and alcohol intake.Results:
Adjusted plasma Gal-3 concentrations in patients with primary aldosteronism, patients after adrenalectomy and patients with EHT were 11.39 ± 0.60, 11.64 ± 0.81 and 11.41 ± 0.73 ng/ml, respectively (mean ± SD; P = 0.95). In 11 patients of whom paired samples were available, mean Gal-3 concentrations increased from 10.03 ± 1.67 ng/ml preadrenalectomy to 14.36 ± 2.07 ng/ml postadrenalectomy (P < 0.01).Conclusion:
In patients with primary aldosteronism, plasma Gal-3 concentrations are not elevated when compared with patients with EHT, and levels do not decrease after adrenalectomy. These results are in contrast to previous studies and do not support a pathophysiological role of plasma Gal-3 in the increased cardiovascular risk in patients with primary aldosteronism.