Plasma aldosterone levels were measured in 50 patients with confirmed liver metastases from various histologically proved primary tumors. None of these patients had electrolyte abnormalities or history of benign liver disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal disease. Patients with edema, ascites, or both had significantly greater elevation of plasma aldosterone levels compared to nonedematous patients; these patients also demonstrated a substantial degree of hepatic dysfunction as evidenced by lower serum albumin levels and higher bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase levels. This study provides a rational basis for the use of the specific aldosterone inhibitor spironolactone in the treatment of patients with advanced metastatic liver disease and edematous states.
(JAMA 244:171-172, 1980)