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Nephron Physiol. 2011;118(2):45-51. doi: 10.1159/000322238. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Hyponatremia and inflammation: the emerging role of interleukin-6 in osmoregulation.

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Department of Internal Medicine - Nephrology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Although hyponatremia is a recognized complication of several inflammatory diseases, its pathophysiology in this setting has remained elusive until recently. A growing body of evidence now points to an important role for interleukin-6 in the non-osmotic release of vasopressin. Here, we review this evidence by exploring the immuno-neuroendocrine pathways connecting interleukin-6 with vasopressin. The importance of these connections extends to several clinical scenarios of hyponatremia and inflammation, including hospital-acquired hyponatremia, postoperative hyponatremia, exercise-associated hyponatremia, and hyponatremia in the elderly. Besides insights in pathophysiology, the recognition of the propensity for antidiuresis during inflammation is also important with regard to monitoring patients and selecting the appropriate intravenous fluid regimen, for which recommendations are provided.

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