Hyponatremia is a common electrolyte disturbance associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Hyponatremia may not infrequently be present during the course of an infection, does not cause specific symptoms and may be overlooked by clinicians. Nonetheless, it may reflect the severity of the underlying process. This review focuses on the clinical and pathophysiological aspects of hyponatremia associated with infectious diseases. In the majority of cases, the fall in serum sodium concentration is of multifactorial origin owing to increased secretion of the anti-diuretic hormone either appropriately or inappropriately. Inadvertent administration of fluids may worsen hyponatremia and prolong morbidity.
Copyright © 2011 The British Infection Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.