Systemic Hormonal Unloading (SHU) in Secondary Hypertension: Addressing the Long-Term Adverse Cardiovascular Outcomes


Excess hormone production from adrenal tumors caused by primary hyperaldosteronism or pheochromocytoma are common etiologies for secondary hypertension. Studies have shown that sustained long-term circulating hormones in excess affect the blood vessels and cardiac structures. Inflammation of cardiomyocytes leads to fibrosis and eventual cardiomyopathy and is clinically presented as arrhythmia, nonfatal myocardial infarction, heart failure, or even death. The tissue changes and/or impaired cardiac function are reversible if early diagnosis and removal of the adrenal tumor by unilateral adrenalectomy is done. However, the condition becomes challenging if the adrenal lesions are bilateral. This article introduces the concept of systemic hormonal unloading and will discuss the philosophy of quality of life in managing bilateral adrenal disease. 


Keywords: systemic hormonal unloading, secondary hypertension, primary hyperaldosteronism, pheochromocytoma, bilateral adrenal venous sampling, cardiovascular adverse outcomes, quality of life

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