Assays of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in adrenal disease
- Michael Stowasser, MD
Michael Stowasser, MD
- Endocrine Hypertension Research Centre
Assessment of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system has recently assumed a much greater role in clinical practice, particularly in the evaluation of patients with hypertension. This is mainly attributable to the growing appreciation that primary aldosteronism is a much more common cause of hypertension than previously thought, accounting for as many as 5 to 10 percent of cases, and that most patients lack hypokalemia as a clinical clue. As a result, guidelines advocate screening for primary aldosteronism by measurement of the plasma aldosterone/renin ratio rather than that of plasma potassium (which is much less sensitive) and among a much wider population of hypertensives than previously .
In addition, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is often evaluated in patients with:
●Hypokalemia or hyperkalemia who may have hyperaldosteronism (or other forms of real or apparent mineralocorticoid excess) or hypoaldosteronism, respectively.
●Adrenal insufficiency (to distinguish primary from secondary).
The use of renin, angiotensin, and aldosterone measurements will be reviewed here. The approach to the patient with potential mineralocorticoid excess or hypoaldosteronism is discussed separately. (See "Diagnosis of primary aldosteronism" and "Causes and evaluation of hyperkalemia in adults".)
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- Plasma renin activity
- Plasma renin concentration
- Which is the preferred assay?
- Normal values
- - Factors that affect renin
- Interpretation in adrenal disease
- Interpretation in non-adrenal conditions
- Normal values
- Interpretation in adrenal disease
- Interpretation in other (non-adrenal) conditions
- Urine aldosterone excretion
- Aldosterone secretory rate