NORMAN M. KAPLAN, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Hypokalemia has been used as the major diagnostic criterion for the diagnosis of primary aldosteronism. With this criterion, the prevalence of primary aldosteronism among the hypertensive population has been exceedingly small, with probably fewer than 1,000 cases having been recognized in the United States where the number of hypertensives has been estimated at 17 million (1).
Conn (2) has recently proposed that primary aldosteronism is much more commonly found in normokalemic patients, suggesting that the prevalence may be 20% of the hypertensive population. He suggests that, in effect, the reliance upon hypokalemia has led to the recognition of only the
KAPLAN NM. Hypokalemia in the Hypertensive Patient: With Observations on the Incidence of Primary Aldosteronism. Ann Intern Med. ;66:1079–1090. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-66-6-1079
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1967;66(6):1079-1090.
Endocrine and Metabolism, Fluid and Electrolyte Disorders, Nephrology.
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