Sarah’s Journey with Hyperaldosteronism and CCK Therapy: Cholecystokinin

January 14, 2024by Dr. S. F. Czar0

Case Study: 

Patient Profile:
  • Name: Sarah Adams
  • Age: 45 years
  • Gender: Female
  • Medical History: Hypertension diagnosed at age 35; otherwise, generally healthy.
Presenting Problem:

Sarah Adams presented to her endocrinologist with a history of persistent hypertension that had been difficult to manage despite multiple antihypertensive medications. She had also experienced muscle weakness and frequent episodes of muscle cramps. Her initial blood tests revealed hypokalemia (low potassium levels), prompting further investigation.

Diagnostic Workup:
  • Blood Tests: Sarah’s blood tests indicated hypokalemia (potassium level: 2.9 mEq/L) and metabolic alkalosis, both of which raised suspicion of hyperaldosteronism.
  • Aldosterone-Renin Ratio: The aldosterone-renin ratio was significantly elevated (greater than 30), further supporting the diagnosis of primary hyperaldosteronism.
  • Imaging: An adrenal CT scan was performed, revealing a small aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) on her right adrenal gland.
Treatment Options:

Given Sarah’s confirmed diagnosis of primary hyperaldosteronism due to an adrenal adenoma, her endocrinologist discussed various treatment options:

  • Surgical Resection: Sarah was offered the option of surgical removal of the aldosterone-producing adenoma. This approach would likely cure her hyperaldosteronism but carried the usual risks of surgery.
  • Aldosterone Receptor Antagonists: An alternative to surgery was the use of aldosterone receptor antagonists like spironolactone or eplerenone. These medications could help control her blood pressure and potassium levels.
  • Cholecystokinin (CCK) Therapy: Sarah’s endocrinologist introduced her to a novel treatment approach involving CCK therapy, which had shown promise in reducing aldosterone production in some cases of hyperaldosteronism. CCK would be administered as a subcutaneous injection.
Treatment Plan:

After considering her options, Sarah chose to participate in a clinical trial exploring the potential use of CCK therapy for hyperaldosteronism. Her treatment plan included:

  • Baseline Assessment: A thorough assessment of Sarah’s hormonal profile, electrolyte balance, and cardiovascular function was conducted before starting treatment.
  • CCK Administration: Sarah received subcutaneous CCK injections three times a week for a duration of six months.
  • Monitoring: Throughout the treatment period, Sarah’s blood pressure, potassium levels, and aldosterone levels were closely monitored, and any side effects or adverse reactions were documented.


Following six months of CCK therapy, Sarah’s clinical condition significantly improved. Her blood pressure was well-controlled, and her potassium levels had normalized. Her aldosterone levels had also decreased, indicating reduced adrenal gland activity.


Sarah’s case highlights the potential of CCK therapy as an alternative or adjunctive treatment for hyperaldosteronism, particularly in patients who may not be surgical candidates or who prefer non-surgical options. The use of CCK in this clinical trial showed promising results, offering a novel approach to managing hyperaldosteronism and its associated complications.

However, it is essential to emphasize that further research is needed to validate the safety and long-term efficacy of CCK therapy for hyperaldosteronism. Additionally, patient selection criteria, optimal dosing, and potential interactions with other medications should be thoroughly investigated to ensure the best possible outcomes for individuals like Sarah.

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