Association of Elevated Serum Aldosterone Concentrations in Pregnancy with Hypertension

Robin Shoemaker, Marko Poglitsch, Dolph Davis, Hong Huang, Aric Schadler, Neil Patel, Katherine Vignes, Aarthi Srinivasan, Cynthia Cockerham, John A. Bauer, John M. O’Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging evidence indicates a previously unrecognized, clinically relevant spectrum of abnormal aldosterone secretion associated with hypertension severity. It is not known whether excess aldosterone secretion contributes to hypertension during pregnancy. We quantified aldosterone concentrations and angiotensin peptides in serum (using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry) in a cohort of 128 pregnant women recruited from a high-risk obstetrics clinic and followed prospectively for the development of gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, superimposed pre-eclampsia, chronic hypertension, or remaining normotensive. The cohort was grouped by quartile of aldosterone concentration in serum measured in the first trimester, and blood pressure, angiotensin peptides, and hypertension outcomes compared across the four quartiles. Blood pressures and body mass index were greatest in the top and bottom quartiles, with the top quartile having the highest blood pressure throughout pregnancy. Further stratification of the top quartile based on increasing (13 patients) or decreasing (19 patients) renin activity over gestation revealed that the latter group was characterized by the highest prevalence of chronic hypertension, use of anti-hypertensive agents, pre-term birth, and intrauterine growth restriction. Serum aldosterone concentrations greater than 704 pmol/L, the 75th percentile defined within the cohort, were evident across all categories of hypertension in pregnancy, including normotensive. These findings suggest that aldosterone excess may underlie the development of hypertension in pregnancy in a significant subpopulation of individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2954
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • RAAS profiling
  • aldosteronism
  • biomarkers
  • hypertension
  • mass spectrometry
  • pregnancy
  • renin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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