Renin and aldosterone but not the natriuretic peptide correlate with obsessive craving in medium-term abstinent alcohol-dependent patients: a longitudinal study

Alcohol. 2008 Aug;42(5):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2008.03.128. Epub 2008 May 16.


Both animal and human studies suggest that volume-regulating hormones could play a role in alcohol dependence as well as in alcohol craving. The role of the volume-regulating hormones, renin, aldosterone, and the N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in alcohol craving was therefore evaluated in the present study. Twenty-five actively drinking alcohol-dependent patients satisfied the inclusion criteria and were enrolled into the study. The volume-regulating hormones, renin, aldosterone, and the NT-proBNP, and craving measurements--Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS)--were performed at baseline and after 12 weeks. Sixteen patients remained totally abstinent for the entire 12 weeks and were available for the second assessments. At baseline, no correlations between hormones and craving scores were found with either the 25 patients initially enrolled or the 16 abstinent patients. At 12 weeks, a significant increase of renin and a significant decrease of aldosterone were observed. Aldosterone showed a significant direct correlation with the obsessive OCDS subscore (r=0.59, P=.016) and a trend toward a significant direct correlation with the PACS score (r=0.48, P=.057). Renin demonstrated a significant direct correlation with the obsessive OCDS subscore (r=0.51, P=.041) and with the PACS score (r=0.56, P=.025). The NT-proBNP never correlated with craving measurements. In conclusion, the renin-aldosterone axis could play a role in craving in medium-term abstinent patients and thereby leading to the hypothesis that alcohol craving could be influenced by the fluid volume intake.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / metabolism*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / therapy
  • Aldosterone / blood*
  • Baclofen / therapeutic use
  • Behavior, Addictive / metabolism*
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood
  • Obsessive Behavior / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Renin / blood*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System*
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Temperance*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Peptide Fragments
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Aldosterone
  • Renin
  • Baclofen