The Latest Research Updates in Hyponatremia


Key research on the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of hyponatremia, presented at Renal Week 2010.

The 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition of the American Society of Nephrology, also known as Renal Week 2010, featured presentations and posters that addresses a wide range of topics in basic, translational, and clinical research in nephrology. This year’s event featured presentations from several import studies on the clinical characteristics, diagnosis, and treatment of hyponatremia.

Hyponatremia Treatment in the Spotlight at Renal Week 2010

The “Forefronts in Hyponatremia” symposium during Renal Week 2010, the 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), explored diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to hyponatremia, an electrolyte disturbance often associated with kidney malfunction which perturbs cell homeostasis as a result of serum sodium concentrations which fall to lower-than-normal levels.

Hyponatremia and Risk of Falls and Fractures in the Elderly

Older adults with even mildly decreased levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia) experience increased rates of fractures and falls, according to study results that were presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition. Falls are a serious health problem for the elderly and account for about 50% of deaths due to injury in the elderly.

Recent Studies Paint a More Complete Picture of Hyponatremia

Researchers in Korea have concluded that thiazide diuretics may be a major cause of symptomatic hyponatremia, and should be carefully administered with frequent electrolyte monitoring, especially in older females. A second group of researchers concluded that thiazide-derived hyponatremia is on the rise, apparently in tandem with an increase in combination drug therapy that makes use of thiazide agents. Like the earlier cited investigation, they also concluded that thiazide-induced manifestations of hyponatremia in the patient population were most prevalent in elderly females, especially those with histories of cerebrovascular events.

Tolvaptan Is Effective in the Treatment of Dilutional Hyponatremia, and May Improve Neurological Function in this Patient Population

A study conducted by the division of nephrology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York shows that tolvaptan can successfully treat significant dilutional hyponatremia. Another collaborative group has reported that the agent can improve patient performance in neurocognitive and gait tests. IN the first study, there were no significant drops in blood pressure associated with tolvaptan administration. In the second study, elderly hyponatremic subjects showed improvement in some neurocognitive and gait tests, as well as markers of bone metabolism after treatment with tolvaptan. Researchers concluded that the results support published data indicating that tolvaptan can lead to improved neurological function.

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