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Eur J Intern Med. 2016 Apr;29:22-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2015.11.022. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Ten common pitfalls in the evaluation of patients with hyponatremia.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece. Electronic address: filtheo@gmail.com.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.

Abstract

Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte disorder in hospitalized patients associated with increased morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, inappropriate treatment of hyponatremia (under- or mainly overtreatment) may also lead to devastating consequences. The appropriate diagnosis of the causative factor is of paramount importance for the proper management and avoidance of treatment pitfalls. Herein, we describe the most common pitfalls in the evaluation of the hyponatremic patient, such as failure to exclude pseudohyponatremia or hypertonic hyponatremia (related to glucose, mannitol or glycine), to properly assess urine sodium concentration and other laboratory findings, to diagnose other causes of hyponatremia (cerebral salt wasting, reset osmostat, nephrogenic syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis, prolonged strenuous exercise, drugs) as well as inability to measure urine osmolality or delineate the diagnosis and cause of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion. Clinicians should be aware of these common clinical practice pitfalls, which could endanger patients with hyponatremia.

KEYWORDS:

Cerebral salt wasting; Hyponatremia; Reset osmostat; Sodium; Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion; Thiazides

PMID:
26706473
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejim.2015.11.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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