Hyperkalaemia and selective hypoaldosteronism in myotonic dystrophy
Myotonic dystrophy (MyD) is a common genetic neuromuscular disorder in which chromosome 19 gives rise to an abnormal expansion of CTG-trinucleotide repeats. MyD is a highly variable multisystem disorder with muscular and nonmuscular abnormalities. Increasingly, endocrine abnormalities, such as gonadal, pancreatic, and adrenal dysfunction are being uncovered. Herein we present three unrelated cases with MyD with abnormally elevated serum potassium; 2 of the 3 cases presented clinically with cardiac dysrhythmias. Hyperkalaemic conditions such as renal failure, cortisol deficiency, pseudohyperkalaemia, and hyperkalaemic periodic paralysis were excluded. Further endocrine evaluation revealed baseline hypoaldosteronism associated with elevated renin activity. Perturbation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system resulted in appropriately enhanced renin activity but with a subnormal aldosterone response, which appeared to be due to adrenal hyporesponsivness. The treatment of all cases with fludrocortisone was without effect. Whether the apparent mineralocorticoid abnormality in MyD is due to associated hormonal perturbations (i.e. excessive ACTH responsivness. elevated cytokines, elevated atrial natriuretic hormone, etc.), adrenal atrophy, and/or a manifestation of the underlying kinase dysfunction is uncertain, but merits further evaluation in view of the clinical consequence of hyperkalaemia.
Misra, D., DeSilva, S., Fellerman, H., Dufour, D., Streeten, D., & Nylen, E. (2002). Hyperkalaemia and selective hypoaldosteronism in myotonic dystrophy. Clinical Endocrinology, 56 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0300-0664.2001.01452.x