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What are the keys to successful adrenal venous sampling (AVS) in patients with primary aldosteronism?

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Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is the criterion standard to distinguish between unilateral and bilateral adrenal disease in patients with primary aldosteronism. The keys to successful AVS include appropriate patient selection, careful patient preparation, focused technical expertise, defined protocol, and accurate data interpretation. The use of AVS should be based on patient preferences, patient age, clinical comorbidities, and the clinical probability of finding an aldosterone-producing adenoma. AVS is optimally performed in the fasting state in the morning. AVS is an intricate procedure because the right adrenal vein is small and may be difficult to locate – the success rate depends on the proficiency of the angiographer. The key factors that determine the successful catheterization of both adrenal veins are experience, dedication and repetition. With experience, and focusing the expertise to 1 or 2 radiologists at a referral centre, the AVS success rate can be as high as 96%. A centre-specific, written protocol is mandatory. The protocol should be developed by an interested group of endocrinologists, radiologists and laboratory personnel. Safeguards should be in place to prevent mislabelling of the blood tubes in the radiology suite and to prevent sample mix-up in the laboratory.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Divisions of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, Nutrition, and Internal Medicine, 2: the Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Publication date: 01 January 2009

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