Renin Assay, Plasma
Renin is an enzyme released by the kidneys as a normal response to dropping blood volume levels, or when the kidneys are receiving less blood for filtering, when there are high blood levels of potassium or low sodium (salt) blood levels. Renin then stimulates the adrenal glands to release angiotensin, which results in an increase in sodium blood levels, blood pressure, and the amount of circulating blood. PRA actually measures the amount of angiotensin, which is an indirect measurement of renin levels. PRC (plasma renin concentration) measures the maximum renin effect will have in the body.
PRA is used as a screening test for high blood pressure caused by CAD (coronary artery disease), kidney disease, or kidney vascular system dysfunction. Low PRA levels are seen in people with inherited adrenal gland dysfunction, low aldosterone levels, or from steroid medications. High PRA levels are seen in people with high potassium levels, vomiting or diarrhea that leads to dehydration and a decrease in serum sodium levels, Addison's disease, Barrter's syndrome, liver or kidney disease, excessive bleeding from trauma, surgery, or other illnesses.
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