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Perm J. 2010 Summer;14(2):62-5.

Hyponatremia-what is cerebral salt wasting?

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hyponatremia is a common electrolyte imbalance in hospitalized patients. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, especially if the underlying cause is incorrectly diagnosed and not treated appropriately. Often, the hospitalist is faced with a clinical dilemma when a patient presents with hyponatremia of an unclear etiology and with uncertain volume status. Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) is frequently diagnosed in this clinical setting, but cerebral salt wasting (CSW) is an important diagnosis to consider.

OBJECTIVE:

We wanted to describe the diagnosis, treatment, and history of CSW to provide clinicians with a better understanding of the differential diagnosis for hyponatremia.

CONCLUSION:

CSW is a process of extracellular volume depletion due to a tubular defect in sodium transport. Two postulated mechanisms for CSW are the excess secretion of natriuretic peptides and the loss of sympathetic stimulation to the kidney. Making the distinction between CSW and SIADH is important because the treatment for the two conditions is very different.

PMID:
20740122
PMCID:
PMC2912080

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