IQMH Proficiency Testing is thrilled to share this article prepared and authored by: Angela C. Rutledge (lead author), Anna Johnston, Dana Bailey, Ronald A. Booth Pamela Edmond, Victor Leung, Kika Veljkovic
Survey of renin and aldosterone testing practices by Ontario laboratories – Providing insight into best practices
Testing for renin and aldosterone in clinical laboratories is complicated by pre-analytical considerations such as the posture for blood collection and susceptibility to cryoactivation of renin. From an analytical perspective, there are both renin activity and renin mass or concentration assays available. There can also be variability in result reporting practices and the aldosterone-renin ratio (ARR) cut-off applied to screen for primary aldosteronism (PA). The Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare (IQMH) Centre for Proficiency Testing surveyed laboratories on their handling of renin and aldosterone testing to better understand current practices.
Design and methods
An online survey was prepared and sent to 134 Canadian laboratories enrolled in endocrinology proficiency testing with IQMH.
One hundred twenty Ontario laboratories submitted responses. While only six (5%) laboratories perform testing for both renin and aldosterone, 108 (90%) collect and process specimens to be tested by reference laboratories. The survey revealed considerable variation in practices including the recommended state of patients prior to sample collection (for example, regarding medications or salt intake), the patient posture specifications for sample collection, the precautions taken against cryoactivation of renin, the choice of renin activity or mass assay, and the ARR cut-off used. The available literature on these factors was then reviewed.
Although there is no standardized procedure for specimen collection, analysis, or result reporting for renin or aldosterone testing, we have attempted to summarize the available literature to develop evidence-based recommendations. Where laboratory practice differs from peers and/or recommended protocols, laboratories should review their practices.
Published in the journal of Practical Laboratory Medicine, Volume 25, May 2021, e00229. Read the article.