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Wan-Chen Wu, Kang-Yung Peng, Jin-Ying Lu, Chieh-Kai Chan, Chih-Yuan Wang, Fen-Yu Tseng, Wei-Shiung Yang, Yen-Hung Lin, Po-Chih Lin, Ting-Chu Chen, Kuo-How Huang, Jeff S Chueh, and Vin-Cent Wu

Objective

Concurrent autonomous cortisol secretion (ACS) in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) is being reported more frequently. Several somatic mutations including PRKACA, GNAS, and CTNNB1 were identified in cortisol-producing adenomas (CPAs). The presence of these mutations in unilateral PA (uPA) patients concurrent with ACS (uPA/ACS) is not well known. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of these mutations and their clinical vs pathological characteristics in uPA/ACS.

Design

This is a retrospective cohort study.

Methods

Totally 98 uPA patients from the Taiwan Primary Aldosteronism Investigation registry having overnight 1-mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) and adrenalectomy from 2016 to 2018 were enrolled. Their adrenal tumors were tested for PRKACA, GNAS, and CTNNB1 mutations.

Results

11 patients had CPA-related mutations (7 PRKACA and 4 GNAS). The patients carrying these mutations had higher post-DST cortisol (5.6 vs 2.6 μg/dL, P = 0.003) and larger adenoma (2.2 ± 0.3 vs 1.9 ± 0.7 cm, P = 0.025). Adenomas with these mutations had a higher prevalence of non-classical uPA (72.7% vs 26.3%, P = 0.014). Numerically, slightly more complete clinical success of uPA patients with these mutations was noticed after adrenalectomy, although it was statistically non-significant. Post-DST cortisol levels, adenoma size >1.9 cm, and the interaction of adenoma size >1.9 cm with potassium level were found to be associated with the presence of these mutations.

Conclusion

Our study showed that CPA-related mutations were detected in 36.7% of uPA/ACS adenomas. The presence of these mutations was associated with higher post-DST cortisol levels, larger adenoma sizes, and a high percentage of non-classical uPA. However, these mutations did not significantly affect the clinical and biochemical outcomes after adrenalectomy of uPA/ACS patients but they showed a better trend.