Hypertension and nephrology

[Water intoxication caused by diuretics]

RADÓ János, KOVÁCS Andrea

APRIL 20, 2011

Hypertension and nephrology - 2011;15(02)

[Water metabolism in the organism is regulated very exactly under normal circumstances. Sometimes, however, when the level of the antidiuretic hormone is inappropriately high and fluid consuming is not limited, water intoxication can develop. This is especially paradoxical during treatment with diuretics. Authors observed in a cachectic, potassium wasting, 87-year-old female patient, hyponatremia associated with clinical water intoxication developing in a hot period of summer, during long-term thiazide diuretic (chlorthalidone) treatment administered because of high blood pressure. Diagnosis was based besides the clinical picture on the severe hyponatremia and was supported by the relatively high urine osmolality in the presence of a very low plasma osmolality. Despite treatment of hyponatremia in accordance to the recommandations “overcorrection” occurred and turned into fatal hypernatremia. In the period of low plasma osmolality the patient was treated with intravenous infusions containing isotonic saline supplemented with potassium. When hypertonicity developed hypotonic intravenous infusions were given. Authors discuss the literature of hyponatremia with special reference to the dilemmas of therapy such as “slow” versus “rapid” correction as well as procedures to be done in case of “overcorrection”.]

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