Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2012 Mar;124(5-6):181-3. doi: 10.1007/s00508-011-0108-7. Epub 2011 Dec 21.

Dysnatraemias in the emergency room: Undetected, untreated, unknown?

Author information

  • 1Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Inselspital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.



Hypo- and hypernatraemia are the most common electrolyte disorders in hospitalized patients and have been associated with increased mortality. However, data on the prevalence of dysnatraemias in the emergency room and the characteristics of patients presenting with them are rare.


In this retrospective study, we analyzed data from patients who presented to the emergency department of a large tertiary university hospital between September 1st 2010 and November 30th 2010 and who received measurement of serum sodium.


3,182 patients received measurement of serum sodium during the three-month study period. 124 patients (4%) presented with hyponatraemia on admission to the emergency department while 400 patients (13%) presented with hypernatraemia. While there was no difference in age between patients with hypernatraemia and those who were normonatraemic, patients with hyponatraemia were significantly older.


Dysnatraemias are present in almost 1 in 5 patients who presented to the emergency department. Contrarily to patients who are already hospitalized, hypernatraemia was by far more common than hyponatraemia in patients at the emergency department. Surprisingly, patients with hyponatraemia were significantly older than normonatraemic patients while there was no age difference in hypernatraemic patients. Dysnatraemias are common in the emergency room and further studies are indicated to evaluate the causes and the impact on outcome of patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk