Identifying Different Causes of Hyponatremia With Fractional Excretion of Uric Acid

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Abstract

Background:

There is controversy over the prevalence of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) and cerebral or renal salt wasting (RSW), 2 syndromes with identical common clinical and laboratory parameters but different therapies. The traditional approach to the hyponatremic patient relies on volume assessment, but there are limitations to this method.

Methods:

We used an algorithm that relies on fractional excretion of urate (FEurate) to evaluate patients with hyponatremia and present 4 illustrative cases.

Results:

Overall, 2 patients had increased FEurate [normal: 4-11%], as is seen in SIADH and RSW. A diagnosis of SIADH was made in 1 patient by correcting the hyponatremia with 1.5% saline and observing a characteristic normalization of an elevated FEurate that is characteristic of SIADH as compared to FEurate being persistently increased in RSW. A patient with T-cell lymphoma had symmetrical leg edema due to lymphomatous obstruction of the inferior vena cava, postural hypotension, pleural effusion, ascites, decreased cardiac output and urine sodium level of 10 mmol/L. Saline-induced excretion of dilute urines and undetectable plasma antidiuretic hormone were consistent with RSW. Furosemide, given for presumed heart failure, induced a profound diuresis that required large volumes of fluid resuscitation. A normal FEurate identified a reset osmostat in a transplant patient with a slowly developing pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. A volume-depleted hyponatremic patient with Addison's disease had a low FEurate of 1.4%.

Conclusions:

These illustrative cases suggest that an approach to hyponatremia using FEurate may be a useful alternative to traditional volume-based approaches.

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