Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common and potentially curable endocrine cause of secondary hypertension, and carries a worse prognosis than essential hypertension. Despite the high prevalence of hypertension in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the screening rates for primary aldosteronism in CKD are unknown.
In this study, we retrospectively reviewed medical records of 1627 adults who presented to the nephrology clinics of 2 tertiary hospitals in Melbourne, Australia, between 2014 and 2019. In addition to assessing the pattern of screening, we also evaluated patient-specific factors associated with the decision to test for primary aldosteronism. Patients were excluded from the final analysis if they did not have CKD, had an organ transplant, had end stage renal failure, or had insufficient data or follow-up.
Of the 600 patients included in the analysis, 234 (39%) had an indication for screening for primary aldosteronism based on recommendations made by the Endocrine Society. However, only 33 (14%) were tested. They were younger, had a higher mean systolic blood pressure, better renal function, and lower mean serum potassium than those who were indicated but not screened. Of the 33 screened patients, an elevated aldosterone-to-renin ratio was noted in 8 patients and a diagnosis of primary aldosteronism was made in 4 patients.
The screening rate for primary aldosteronism is low in a CKD population, especially in patients who are older, have a lower eGFR and normal serum potassium. The consequences of undiagnosed primary aldosteronism in this select population may be substantial due to the cardiovascular and renal sequelae associated with untreated disease.

© 2022. The Author(s).