Journal article Open Access
Type I pseudohypoaldosteronism (PHA) is a hereditary disease characterized by salt wasting resulting from target organ unresponsiveness to mineralocorticoids. We have studied two kindreds including a total of nine patients with PHA. In kindred I, the propositus presented with renal salt wasting in infancy (vomiting, failure to thrive, short stature, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia) and responded dramatically to a high salt diet (2.5 g/day). Sodium supplementation was discontinued at the age of two. In seven additional family members from three generations, clinical expression of PHA varied from asymptomatic to moderate. In affected members (propositus, mother, and two brothers), hyperaldosteronism persisted over 13 yr; however, the PRA decreased gradually to near normal values. Persistent hyperaldosteronism in the face of a decrease in PRA indicated the development of tertiary hyperaldosteronism due to autonomously functioning zona glomerulosa. The pedigree was consistent with an autosomal dominant mode of transmission with variable expression. In kindred II, the propositus, who was the product of a consanguineous marriage, developed severe renal salt losing at age 9 days. She had also increased salivary and sweat electrolytes consistent with PHA resulting from multiple organ unresponsiveness to mineralocorticoids. Life threatening episodes of salt wasting recurred beyond the age of 2 yr. At 5 yr of age, she still requires high amounts of salt supplements (14 g/day). A sister died at 9 days of age with PHA symptoms. Six close relatives (parents, three siblings, maternal uncle) showed no biochemical abnormalities. This pedigree was consistent with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. In view of the findings on these two kindreds and the analysis of those in the literature, we conclude that type I PHA includes two clinically and genetically distinct entities with either renal or multiple target organ defects.