How can the presence of hypovolemia be ruled out in a clinical assessment of syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Christie P Thomas, MBBS, FRCP, FASN, FAHA; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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The patient should be assessed clinically to help rule out the presence of hypovolemia. Clues from the physical examination include the following:

  • Hypotension with or without orthostasis
  • Dry mucosae
  • Cold peripheries
  • Reduced skin turgor
  • Low central venous pressures (if central venous pressure or pulmonary capillary wedge pressure measurements are available)

In persons with hypovolemic hyponatremia, the urinary Na+ concentration is usually less than 20 mEq/L and the fractional excretion of Na+ is low. Thus, if the urinary Na+ concentration is less than 25 mEq/L, volume depletion from extrarenal volume loss should be excluded.

Volume depletion causes an appropriate (nonosmotic) secretion of ADH and leads to hyponatremia if hypotonic fluid is used to replace isotonic fluid losses. Typically, a volume-depleted person responds to thirst induced by volume depletion by drinking free water. Replacing isotonic losses (lost from the extracellular compartment) with water or hypotonic fluids makes a patient hyponatremic.

Hypovolemia can also be associated with a urine Na+ concentration more than 25 mEq/L if the source of volume loss is the kidney. Thus, diuretic use, mineralocorticoid deficiency, and salt-losing nephropathies can lead to hyponatremia with a high urine Na+ concentration.

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