Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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The McGill Geriatric Lithium-Induced Diabetes Insipidus Clinical Study (McGLIDICS).

OBJECTIVE: Despite being a common and potentially serious condition, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI) remains poorly understood in older lithium users. Our main objective was to compare the prevalence of NDI symptoms and decreased urine osmolality ([UOsm] < 300 milli-Osmoles [mOsm/kg]) among geriatric and adult lithium users. We also assessed NDI symptoms, serum sodium (Na+), and urine specific gravity (USG) as possible surrogate measures of decreased UOsm, and ascertained whether potential etiologic factors independently correlated with decreased UOsm.

METHOD: This was a cross-sectional study of 100 consecutive outpatients treated with lithium from 6 tertiary care clinics, of which 45 were geriatric (aged 65 years and older) and 55 adult (aged 18 to 64 years). Patients completed a symptom questionnaire and underwent laboratory tests, including UOsm, serum Na+, and USG.

RESULTS: Geriatric and adult lithium users had similar rates of decreased UOsm (12.5%, compared with 17.9%, P = 0.74), but geriatric patients reported less symptoms (P < 0.05). Although UOsm did not correlate with symptoms or current serum Na+, USG of less than 1.010 was suggestive of UOsm of less than 300 mOsm/kg. Age, lithium duration, and serum lithium level were independently associated with UOsm.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of decreased UOsm is similar in geriatric and adult lithium users, but older patients are less likely to report urinary and thirst symptoms. Although subjective symptoms do not correlate with UOsm, USG may be a cost-efficient clinical surrogate measure for UOsm. We suggest clinicians increase their vigilance for decreased UOsm, especially in lithium users with advanced age, longer duration of lithium exposure, and higher lithium levels. This may potentially prevent lithium intoxication, falls, hypernatremic events, and renal dysfunction.

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