Mechanisms, risks, and new treatment options for hyponatremia

Jalal K Ghali
Cardiology 2008, 111 (3): 147-57
Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte abnormality in hospitalized patients and is associated with increased mortality, morbidity, and longer hospital stays. Because patients with this disorder are often asymptomatic, hyponatremia is frequently undiagnosed and untreated. Serious neurologic complications may ensue when hyponatremia develops too rapidly or the serum sodium concentration ([Na(+)]) falls below 120 mEq/l. Hypotonic dilutional hyponatremia is the most common form of this disorder, which may present as euvolemic [e.g., due to failure to suppress secretion of arginine vasopressin (AVP)] or hypervolemic (due to edema-forming conditions such as heart failure). Hypovolemic hyponatremia is due to conditions promoting renal or extrarenal sodium loss. Because AVP, which is intimately involved in regulating osmolar homeostasis, is often elevated in patients with hypervolemic and euvolemic hyponatremia, treatments that directly target the effects of this hormone may provide a more predictable correction of serum [Na(+)] than those traditionally used. The AVP receptor antagonists (conivaptan, tolvaptan, lixivaptan, and satavaptan) are a new class of agents that have been shown to normalize serum [Na(+)] by promoting aquaresis - the electrolyte-sparing excretion of free water.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"