Immunoassays for hypertension diagnostics
The endocrine system is composed of several glands whose main function is to secrete hormones into the blood.
Hormones (amines, peptides and proteins, steroid hormones) serve as a major means of communication between different organs and tissues and regulate a variety of essential physiological processes, frequently including regulatory feedback loops.
Therefore, endocrine diseases - which may lead to increased or decreased hormone production - are complex disorders, and laboratory tests play an important role in diagnosis and treatment.
A relevant example for an endocrine disorder is Primary Aldosteronism (PA), whose main symptoms include hypertension. Originally assumed to account for less than 1% of hypertensive patients, recent data suggest a PA share as high as 5 - 15%. Detecting PA is all the more important since PA patients have a higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than patients with essential hypertension, and given that specific PA treatments are available. The Endocrine Society (1) PA Guideline recommends determination of the plasma aldosterone/renin ratio (ARR) to detect PA in patient groups with relatively high PA prevalence, including patients suffering from severe or drug resistant hypertension.