Despite two decades of its recorded history,1 pseudohypoaldosteronism is not listed in standard medical dictionaries among their more than 250 entries prefixed by "pseudo." The omission is the more surprising because at least 40 cases of this disorder have been reported. Clearly, dictionaries may be even less successful than standard texts in keeping abreast of the times.
"Pseudo" has negative connotations. It denotes deceptive resemblances, pretended identities, false credentials. However, with the first report of pseudohypoparathyroidism by Albright in 1942, the prefix acquired a positive ring. It now designated an entity that did not merely bear a false resemblance to hypoparathyroidism but also had a definite identity of its own. Its symptoms and signs were caused not by deficiency of parathyroid hormone, but by unresponsiveness of the renal tubules to the hormonal action at the receptor or postreceptor level.
With the discovery that target organ unresponsiveness can mimic the