Secondary Arterial Hypertension: From Routine Clinical Practice to Evidence in Patients with Adrenal Tumor

  • Marco Grasso
  • Marco Boscaro
  • Carla Scaroni
  • Filippo Ceccato
Review Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Secondary Hypertension


Prevalence of arterial hypertension is up to 30–40% in epidemiological studies, it increases with aging and affects the cardiovascular risk. Essential form of hypertension is the most frequent; however, 5–10% of patients are affected by a specific and potentially reversible cause of increased blood pressure levels, called secondary hypertension. In general, all patients with young onset-age (< 40–50 years) or resistant hypertension should be screened for secondary forms. Among them, primary aldosteronism, Cushing’s Syndrome and pheochromocytoma are the most common cause of endocrine hypertension associated with an autonomous secretion of adrenal hormones, often secondary to a tumor (either mono- or bi-lateral, or not always in the adrenals). Their diagnosis could be challenging, especially in patients with hypertension as the first (and/or isolated) clinical manifestation. Moreover, they are all rare form of hypertension, therefore a correct screening with a sensitive test is mandatory, to refer quickly the patients to an Endocrine Unit. In this short review we pinpoint our attention to these adrenal-related secondary form of hypertension, describing in a concise way their first-line screening procedures.


Hypertension Cushing syndrome Primary aldosteronism Pheochromocytoma 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest that might be perceived as influencing the impartiality of the reported research.


This study did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

Research involving human participants and patient consent

Informed consent to describe patients’ history has been obtained.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Endocrinology Unit, Department of Medicine DIMEDUniversity-Hospital of PadovaPadovaItaly

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