An alcoholic patient presented with profound hyponatremia (serum sodium concentration, 96 mEq/L) caused by the combined effects of a thiazide diuretic, serotonin reuptake inhibitor, beer potomania, and hypovolemia. A computed tomographic scan of the brain was indistinguishable from one obtained 3 weeks earlier when he was normonatremic. Concurrent administration of 3% saline solution and desmopressin controlled the rate of correction to an average of 6 mEq/L daily and resulted in full neurologic recovery without evidence of osmotic demyelination. This case illustrates the value of controlled correction of profound hyponatremia.
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