05 December 2008
A 50-year-old Japanese man had been suffering from polydipsia and polyuria for 2 months without any other specific symptoms. His daily urinary output reached 5 liters. On admission, no abnormalities of the kidneys, heart, thyroid, adrenals, pituitary or hypothalamus were detected by laboratory tests and MRI of the head. Pure psychogenic polydipsia was ruled out because his urine volume did not decrease sufficiently with 18 h of water deprivation and the subsequent injection of aqueous vasopressin. Plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) levels against plasma osmolality remained within the normal range during the test. These results indicated that diabetes insipidus in this case was caused by renal insensitivity to AVP. The symptoms disappeared spontaneously, and marked improvement was observed in a second water deprivation test 1 month later, although the maximum urine concentration was still subnormal. The combination of both latent insufficiency of AVP secretion and impairment of the renal countercurrent system induced by psychogenic polydipsia was speculated as a possible mechanism for the transient nephrogenic diabetes insipidus in this case.