Progestin-dependent effect of oral contraceptives on plasma aldosterone/renin ratio

Zoltán Locsei, Dóra Horváth, Károly Rácz, István Szabolcs, Gábor L. Kovács, Erzsébet Toldy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Estrogens in oral contraceptives (OC) may influence plasma aldosterone/plasma renin activity (ALD/PRA) and plasma aldosterone/plasma renin concentration (ALD/DRC) ratios, but the effect of progestins on these ratios has not been sufficiently studied so far. Design and methods: PRA (RIA, DiaSorin), DRC and ALD (IRMA, RIA, Beckman Coulter) were measured, then ALD/PRA and ALD/DRC were calculated in 86 healthy normotensive women (aged 27.3. ±. 7.5. years), 63 using progestin-containing OC: either gestodene (GTD, n = 25), desogestrel (DSG, n = 22) or drospirenone (DRSP, n = 16). 23 OC-nonusers served as control. Results: Data are presented as median and lower and upper quartiles. PRA, DRC and ALD levels were higher (p. <. 0.001) in the DRSP group [3.1 (1.5 3.8). ng/mL/h, 25.2 (9.8 30.4). ng/L and 43.7 (28.0 61.6). ng/dL, respectively], than in the DSG [1.4 (1.1 2.1). ng/mL/h, 8.3 (6.8 12.3). ng/L and 11.5 (7.2 16.6). ng/dL], GTD [1.2 (0.8 2.2). ng/mL/h, 8.0 (4.8 10.5). ng/L, and 13.4 (7.7 22.1) ng/dL] and control [1.3 (0.7 1.6) ng/mL/h, 12.2 (7.5 21.7) ng/L, and 10.0 (4.4 14.7) ng/dL] groups. Cases of falsely elevated ALD/PRA and ALD/DRC ratios [7 (11%) and 12 cases (19%) respectively] were only found in OC users but not in the control group. In the DSG and GTD groups, but not in the DRSP group falsely elevated ALD/PRA occurred less frequently than falsely elevated ALD/DRC. Conclusions: In OC-users falsely elevated ALD/PRA and especially ALD/DRC are a common finding, particularly when the OC contains DSG or GTD. Therefore, for OC-users method- and progestin-type specific cut-off levels should be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1518
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number16-17
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Aldosterone/plasma renin activity ratio
  • Aldosterone/plasma renin concentration ratio
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Progestin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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