Osmoregulation of vasopressin secretion in patients with the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis associated with central nervous system disorders

Endocr J. 1999 Apr;46(2):269-77. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.46.269.


To clarify the characteristics of vasopressin (AVP) secretion in patients with the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis (SIAD) related to central nervous system disorders, we examined the response of AVP secretion to osmotic stimulus by hypertonic saline infusion and analyzed the possible causative factors in six patients with SIAD associated with head trauma or cerebral infarction. Hyponatremia developed after head trauma in four patients and cerebral infarction in two patients. In all patients the clinical state and laboratory findings fulfilled the criteria for SIAD, which was supported by either nonsuppressible plasma AVP levels or effectiveness of treatments with water restriction, demeclocycline, nonpeptide V2 AVP antagonist or diphenylhydantoin. Although patterns of plasma AVP response to the osmotic stimulus varied, plasma AVP concentrations neither increased nor decreased to undetectable levels with a rise in plasma osmolality. In one patient, plasma AVP levels responded to increasing plasma osmolality when plasma osmolality normalized; in which the threshold and the sensitivity of osmostat were normal. In two other patients, AVP secretion responded to plasma osmolality after the treatment. The changes in AVP secretion were not due to nonosmotic stimuli for AVP release. In conclusion, this study shows that patients with SIAD and central nervous system disorders may have persistent AVP secretion with a loss of hypotonic suppression such as found in patients with adrenal insufficiency or depletional hyponatremia in central nervous system disorders, indicating that careful evaluation is necessary to determine the relationship between persistent AVP secretion and the pathogenesis of hyponatremic disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arginine Vasopressin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Arginine Vasopressin / blood
  • Arginine Vasopressin / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications*
  • Demeclocycline / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hormone Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / drug therapy
  • Hyponatremia / etiology
  • Inappropriate ADH Syndrome / complications*
  • Inappropriate ADH Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Inappropriate ADH Syndrome / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenytoin / therapeutic use
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / therapeutic use
  • Water Deprivation
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance*


  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Demeclocycline
  • Phenytoin