24-hour urinary aldosterone excretion test
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.
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 health care provider will ask you to stop for a short time medicines that may 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:
- High- or low-sodium diet
- Strenuous exercise
Do not drink coffee, tea, or cola during urine collection. Your health care 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.
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.
What the risks are
There are no risks with this test.
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.
Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.