Hypotonic fluids are commonly used for treating hospitalized children. However, an excess of arginine vasopressin (AVP) with impaired free water excretion is thought to contribute to the development of hyponatremia in febrile children. The aim of this two-part study was to define the clinical relationship between hyponatremia and excess AVP. In a retrospective study carried out between 2001 and 2005, we found that approximately 17% of the hospitalized patients had hyponatremia [serum sodium (Na) < 135 mEq/l] upon admission and that the ratio of patients with hyponatremia was significantly higher among febrile patients than among afebrile patients. In a subsequent prospective study, we examined 73 hospitalized patients who presented with acute febrile diseases accompanied by hyponatremia (serum Na <134 mEq/l). Almost all of these patients demonstrated excess AVP, defined as high plasma AVP levels (>1 pg/ml). There were no significant relationships between the levels of AVP and other laboratory variables, including serum sodium, serum osmolality, atrial natriuretic peptide, and brain natriuretic peptide. About 30% (22/73) of the patients fulfilled the criteria of the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone. These findings suggest that fever and other nonosmotic stimuli lead directly to excess AVP and hyponatremia. We therefore recommend that isotonic fluids should be used for patients with prolonged fever and hyponatremia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health