Hyponatremia secondary to the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH): therapeutic decision-making in real-life cases

Maurice Laville, Volker Burst, Alessandro Peri, Joseph G Verbalis
Clinical Kidney Journal 2013, 6 (Suppl 1): i1-i20
Despite being the most common electrolyte disturbance encountered in clinical practice, the diagnosis and treatment of hyponatremia (defined as a serum sodium concentration <135 mmol/L) remains far from optimal. This is extremely troubling because not only is hyponatremia associated with increased morbidity, length of hospital stay and hospital resource use, but it has also been shown to be associated with increased mortality. The reasons for this poor management may partly lie in the heterogeneous nature of the disorder; hyponatremia presents with a variety of possible etiologies, differing symptomology and fluid volume status, thereby making its diagnosis potentially complex. In addition, a general lack of awareness of the clinical impact of the disorder, a fear of adverse outcomes through overcorrection of sodium levels, and a lack of effective targeted treatments until recent years, may all have contributed to a reticence to actively treat cases of hyponatremia. There is therefore a clear unmet need to further educate physicians on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of this important condition. Through the use of a variety of real-world cases of patients with hyponatremia secondary to the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone-a condition that accounts for approximately one-third of all cases of hyponatremia-this supplement aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges faced in diagnosing and managing hyponatremia. These cases will also help to illustrate how some of the limitations of traditional therapies may be overcome with the use of vasopressin receptor antagonists.

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