In the present study two patients with aldosterone-producing adrenal carcinomas are reported. The clinical features were characterized by hypertension and severe hypokalemia with muscular weakness, flaccid paralysis of arms and legs, diarrhea and polyuria. In both cases excessively high plasma aldosterone levels and suppressed plasma renin activity were found. In contrast to most other cases with aldosterone-secreting tumours plasma cortisol, urinary free cortisol excretion, 17-hydroxy- and 17-ketosteroids were in the normal range. There was no clinical evidence of oversecretion of sex hormones. After adrenalectomy blood pressure and serum potassium normalized and the clinical symptoms disappeared. Plasma aldosterone and urinary aldosterone secretion returned to normal, while plasma renin activity remained low. Three and a half and 6 months later primary aldosteronism and the associated clinical symptoms reappeared due to hormonally active metastases. After introducing the antitumour drug o,p'-DDD in patient 1 aldosterone secretion normalized and the clinical status of the patient markedly improved. However, 10 months after diagnosis the patient died due to a haemorrhage from a liver metastasis. In patient 2 tumour-invaded regional lymph nodes were surgically removed with only minor changes in the hormone pattern.
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