Aldosterone

This is a test to determine if your aldosterone levels are abnormal. It is used to detect over active adrenal glands which produce too much aldosterone) or under active adrenal glands which produce too little Aldosterone. Aldosterone is a mineral (salt)-retaining steroid that directly regulates the retention of sodium (salt) by the kidney and indirectly regulates the excretion of potassium. It plays an important role in the control of blood volume and blood pressure. Aldosterone is produced by the outer part of the two adrenal glands, located at the top of each kidney.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

  • No fasting is required. A blood sample is taken by a needle from a vein. A 24-hour urine sample may also be tested.

  • Licorice may mimic aldosterone properties and should be avoided for at least two weeks before the test.

  • Stress and strenuous exercise may also alter the results.

  • You may be asked to arrive well before your testing time so you can remain in a lying or upright position long enough to establish that as your baseline testing position.

  • Aldosterone levels fall to very low levels with severe illness, so testing should not be done at times when a person is very ill.

  • Prolonged use of steroids, a diet high in salt, some blood pressure medications, and Addison's disease can cause decreased aldosterone levels.

NORMAL FINDINGS

Blood

  • Supine: 3-10ng/dL or 0.08-0.30 nmol/L (SI units).

  • Upright: (sitting for at least 2 hours).

  • Female: 5-30 ng/dL or 0.14-.080 nmol/L (SI units).

  • Male: 6-22 ng/dL or 0.17-0.61 nmol/L (SI units).

  • Newborn: 5.60 ng/dL.

  • Child, 1 week-1 year: 1-160 ng/dL

  • Child, 1-3 years: 5-60 ng/dL

  • Child, 3-5 year: 5-80 ng/dL

  • Child, 5-7 years: 5-50 ng/dL

  • Child, 7-11 years: 5-50 ng/dL

  • Child/adolescent, 11-15: years 5-50 ng/dL

Urine

  • Adults: 2.3-21 mcg/24 hours (6.38-58.25 nmol/24 hours)

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.