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      Hyponatremia Revisited: Translating Physiology to Practice

      ,

      Nephron Physiology

      S. Karger AG

      Hyponatremia, Vasopressin, Water balance regulation

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          Abstract

          The complexity of hyponatremia as a clinical problem is likely caused by the opposite scenarios that accompany this electrolyte disorder regarding pathophysiology (depletional versus dilutional hyponatremia, high versus low vasopressin levels) and therapy (rapid correction to treat cerebral edema versus slow correction to prevent osmotic demyelination, fluid restriction versus fluid resuscitation). For a balanced differentiation between these opposites, an understanding of the pathophysiology of hyponatremia is required. Therefore, in this review an attempt is made to translate the physiology of water balance regulation to strategies that improve the clinical management of hyponatremia. A physiology-based approach to the patient with hyponatremia is presented, first addressing the possibility of acute hyponatremia, and then asking if and if so why vasopressin is secreted non-osmotically. Additional diagnostic recommendations are not to rely too heavily of the assessment of the extracellular fluid volume, to regard the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis as a diagnosis of exclusion, and to rationally investigate the pathophysiology of hyponatremia rather than to rely on isolated laboratory values with arbitrary cutoff values. The features of the major hyponatremic disorders are discussed, including diuretic-induced hyponatremia, adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis, cerebral salt wasting, and exercise-associated hyponatremia. The treatment of hyponatremia is reviewed from simple saline solutions to the recently introduced vasopressin receptor antagonists, including their promises and limitations. Given the persistently high rates of hospital-acquired hyponatremia, the importance of improving the management of hyponatremia seems both necessary and achievable.

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          Most cited references 56

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          Short-term clinical effects of tolvaptan, an oral vasopressin antagonist, in patients hospitalized for heart failure: the EVEREST Clinical Status Trials.

          Heart failure causes more than 1 million US hospitalizations yearly, mostly related to congestion. Tolvaptan, an oral, nonpeptide, selective vasopressin V2-receptor antagonist, shows promise in this condition. To evaluate short-term effects of tolvaptan when added to standard therapy in patients hospitalized with heart failure. Two identical prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials at 359 sites in North America, South America, and Europe were conducted during the inpatient period of the Efficacy of Vasopressin Antagonism in Heart Failure Outcome Study With Tolvaptan (EVEREST) between October 7, 2003, and February 3, 2006. A total of 2048 (trial A) and 2085 (trial B) patients hospitalized with heart failure and congestion were studied. Patients were randomized to receive either tolvaptan (30 mg/d) or matching placebo, within 48 hours of admission. Primary end point was a composite of changes in global clinical status based on a visual analog scale and body weight at day 7 or discharge if earlier. Secondary end points included dyspnea (day 1), global clinical status (day 7 or discharge), body weight (days 1 and 7 or discharge), and peripheral edema (day 7 or discharge). Rank sum analysis of the composite primary end point showed greater improvement with tolvaptan vs placebo (trial A, mean [SD], 1.06 [0.43] vs 0.99 [0.44]; and trial B, 1.07 [0.42] vs 0.97 [0.43]; both trials P<.001). Mean (SD) body weight reduction was greater with tolvaptan on day 1 (trial A, 1.71 [1.80] vs 0.99 [1.83] kg; P<.001; and trial B, 1.82 [2.01] vs 0.95 [1.85] kg; P<.001) and day 7 or discharge (trial A, 3.35 [3.27] vs 2.73 [3.34] kg; P<.001; and trial B, 3.77 [3.59] vs 2.79 [3.46] kg; P<.001), whereas improvements in global clinical status were not different between groups. More patients receiving tolvaptan (684 [76.7%] and 678 [72.1%] for trial A and trial B, respectively) vs patients receiving placebo (646 [70.6%] and 597 [65.3%], respectively) reported improvement in dyspnea at day 1 (both trials P<.001). Edema at day 7 or discharge improved significantly with tolvaptan in trial B (P = .02) but did not reach significance in trial A (P = .07). Serious adverse event frequencies were similar between groups, without excess renal failure or hypotension. In patients hospitalized with heart failure, oral tolvaptan in addition to standard therapy including diuretics improved many, though not all, heart failure signs and symptoms, without serious adverse events. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00071331
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            Mild chronic hyponatremia is associated with falls, unsteadiness, and attention deficits.

            The study objective was to determine the eventual consequences (falls, unsteadiness, and cognitive impairment) of mild chronic hyponatremia, which is generally considered as asymptomatic. In a case-control study, we focused on the incidence of falls among 122 patients (mean age 72+/-13 years) with asymptomatic chronic hyponatremia (mean serum sodium concentration [SNa] 126+/-5 mEq/L), who were admitted to the medical emergency department, compared with 244 matched controls. To explore the mechanisms of the excess of falls, we prospectively asked 16 comparable patients (mean age 63+/-15 years; SNa+/-2 mEq/L) to perform 8 attention tests and a gait test consisting of 3 steps "in tandem," in which we measured the "total traveled way" by the center of pressure or total traveled way. Thereafter, the patients were treated and tested again (50% of the patients were tested first with normal SNa to avoid learning biases). Epidemiology of falls: Twenty-six patients (21.3%) of 122 were admitted for falls, compared with only 5.3% of the control patients (adjusted odds ratio: 67; 95% confidence: 7.5-607; P <.001). The frequency of falls was the same regardless of the level of hyponatremia. Gait: The total traveled way by the center of pressure significantly increased in hyponatremia (1336+/-320 mm vs 1047+/-172 mm with normal SNa; P=.003). Attention tests: The mean response time was 673+/-182 milliseconds in hyponatremia and 615+/-184 milliseconds in patients with normal SNa (difference: 58 milliseconds, P <.001). The total error number in hyponatremia increased 1.2-fold (P=.001). These modifications were comparable to those observed after alcohol intake in 10 volunteers. Mild chronic hyponatremia induces a high incidence of falls possibly as the result of marked gait and attention impairments. Treating these patients might prevent a considerable number of hospitalizations.
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              Hyponatremia among runners in the Boston Marathon.

              Hyponatremia has emerged as an important cause of race-related death and life-threatening illness among marathon runners. We studied a cohort of marathon runners to estimate the incidence of hyponatremia and to identify the principal risk factors. Participants in the 2002 Boston Marathon were recruited one or two days before the race. Subjects completed a survey describing demographic information and training history. After the race, runners provided a blood sample and completed a questionnaire detailing their fluid consumption and urine output during the race. Prerace and postrace weights were recorded. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors associated with hyponatremia. Of 766 runners enrolled, 488 runners (64 percent) provided a usable blood sample at the finish line. Thirteen percent had hyponatremia (a serum sodium concentration of 135 mmol per liter or less); 0.6 percent had critical hyponatremia (120 mmol per liter or less). On univariate analyses, hyponatremia was associated with substantial weight gain, consumption of more than 3 liters of fluids during the race, consumption of fluids every mile, a racing time of >4:00 hours, female sex, and low body-mass index. On multivariate analysis, hyponatremia was associated with weight gain (odds ratio, 4.2; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.2 to 8.2), a racing time of >4:00 hours (odds ratio for the comparison with a time of <3:30 hours, 7.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.9 to 23.1), and body-mass-index extremes. Hyponatremia occurs in a substantial fraction of nonelite marathon runners and can be severe. Considerable weight gain while running, a long racing time, and body-mass-index extremes were associated with hyponatremia, whereas female sex, composition of fluids ingested, and use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs were not. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEP
                Nephron Physiol
                10.1159/issn.1660-2137
                Nephron Physiology
                S. Karger AG
                1660-2137
                2008
                April 2008
                05 March 2008
                : 108
                : 3
                : p46-p59
                Affiliations
                Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
                Article
                119709 Nephron Physiol 2008;108:p46
                10.1159/000119709
                18319606
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 74, Pages: 1
                Categories
                Minireview

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Water balance regulation, Vasopressin, Hyponatremia

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