Research Article

Plasma renin activity and aldosterone concentration in children.

Br Med J 1975; 4 doi: (Published 08 November 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;4:316
  1. M J Dillon,
  2. J M Ryness


    Using semi-micro methods, plasma renin activity (PRA) and plasma aldosterone concentration (PA) were measured concurrently in 79 healthy children aged 1 month to 15 years to establish a reference range. PRA and PA varied inversely with age. Eleven children with renal hypertension had higher PRA and PA than age-matched controls. In contrast, PRA was much greater in 38 saline-depleted children. PA was not uniformly increased in this group and was within the normal range in children with adrenal diseases compared with the high values seen in other salt-wasting states. The findings emphasise the need to relate data from patients to age-matched control values before attempting interpretation and suggest that sodium depletion is a more potent stimulator of renin-aldosterone release than renovascular disease or renal scarring in children. Plasma renin-aldosterone profiles were also valuable in discriminating between renal and adrenal causes of salt loss in childhood.