Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Scan can spot 'curable cause of high blood pressure'
Doctors say they have found a medical test that can diagnose the most common curable cause of high blood pressure. Conn's syndrome - a disease of the adrenal glands that sit above the kidneys - is thought to be the cause behind one in 20 cases of hypertension. But until now it has been difficult to detect, requiring a complex series of tests on blood taken from a vein supplying the adrenal gland. Experts at the University of Cambridge say a simple scan can spot the problem. The hi-tech PET-CT scan looks for small growths in the adrenal glands that are about the size of a five pence piece, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reports. These benign growths or tumours - called adenomas - pump out too much of a hormone called aldosterone, which in turn raises blood pressure - BBC