24-hour Urinary Aldosterone Excretion Rate

Definition

The 24-hour urinary aldosterone excretion test measures the amount of aldosterone removed in the urine in a day.

Aldosterone can also be measured with a blood test.

Alternative Names

Aldosterone - urine

How the Test is Performed

A 24-hour urine sample is needed. You will need to collect your urine over 24 hours. Your health care provider will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly. This ensures accurate results.

How to Prepare for the Test

Your provider may ask you to stop taking certain medicines a few days before the test so that they don't affect the test results. Be sure to tell your provider about all the medicines you take. These include:

  • High blood pressure medicines
  • Heart medicines
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antacid and ulcer medicines
  • Water pills (diuretics)

Do not stop taking any medicine before talking to your doctor.

Be aware that other factors can affect aldosterone measurements, including:

  • Pregnancy
  • High- or low-sodium diet
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Stress

Do not drink coffee, tea, or cola during the day the urine is collected. Your provider will likely recommend that you eat no more than 3 grams of salt (sodium) per day for at least 2 weeks before the test.

How the Test will Feel

The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

The test is done to see how much aldosterone is released into your urine. Aldosterone is a hormone released by the adrenal gland that helps the kidney control salt and potassium balance.

Normal Results

Results depend on:

  • How much sodium is in your diet
  • Whether your kidneys work properly
  • The condition being diagnosed

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A higher than normal level of aldosterone may be due to:

  • Abuse of diuretics ("water pills")
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Adrenal gland problems
  • Heart failure
  • Laxative abuse

Lower than normal levels may indicate Addison disease.

Risks

There are no risks with this test.

References

Gruber HA, Farag AF. Evaluation of endocrine function. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 24.

Review Date: 7/24/2015

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