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November 25, 1968

Test for Pathologic Secretion of Aldosterone

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Ochsner Clinic and Ochsner Foundation Hospital, New Orleans.

JAMA. 1968;206(9):2114-2117. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150090190034

Determining the physiologic effects of aldosterone on sodium-potassium exchange in the renal tubule is as simple and accurate as measuring aldosterone excretion and plasma renin activity. We compared the 24-hour urinary potassium clearance before and after three days of oral administration of spironolactone while the patient was on a high salt diet. Greater than 50% reduction in potassium clearance after administration of spironolactone indicates pathologic secretion, which suggests the need for exploration of the adrenals after exclusion of secondary aldosteronism.