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Renin Assay

What To Think About

  • A renin test is often done at the same time as an aldosterone test. For more information, see the topic Aldosterone.
  • A renin stimulation test may occasionally be done if blood renin levels are low. To prepare for this test, you will eat a low-sodium diet for 3 days. A blood renin level will be drawn and a diuretic, usually furosemide (Lasix), will be put in a vein (intravenous) in your arm. Normally, blood renin levels will increase, but in Conn's syndrome blood renin levels will not change after taking the diuretic.
  • Many hospitals now measure renin activity with the renin direct immunoassay, which measures the amount of renin in the blood. A plasma renin activity (PRA) test measures the production of a hormone called angiotensin I rather than renin itself. A renin direct immunoassay is easier to do and can generally be done instead of the PRA test. But in some situations (such as pregnancy), PRA results may be more accurate than the renin direct immunoassay.
  • Other tests that may be done to investigate high blood pressure include duplex Doppler ultrasound, arteriography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). For more information, see the topics Doppler Ultrasound, Angiogram, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Abdomen, and Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA).

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAlan C. Dalkin, MD - Endocrinology
Last RevisedJune 20, 2012
1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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