Fluctuation of vasopressin secretion in chronic hypernatremia

Nephron. 1990;54(3):245-8. doi: 10.1159/000185863.


Herein we will describe a case of chronic hypernatremic-hyperosmolar syndrome with cerebral localization of systemic sarcoidosis. Several determinations of plasma arginine vasopressin (p-AVP) at various plasma sodium levels were carried out in this patient. During the study p-AVP values varied between 2.6 and 9.5 pg/ml. A high percentage of them was related to plasma osmolality, pointing out that p-AVP secretion was osmotically mediated. This behavior is in contrast with the tendency of hypernatremic patients previously reported in the literature, in whom p-AVP values were inappropriately low for the corresponding degree of plasma osmolality, suggesting that vasopressin secretion was not influenced by osmotic stimulation. Furthermore, our case, unlike those previously described, showed high values of urinary osmolality. In conclusion, our patient represents, in essence, the 'middle' of the spectrum of the hypodipsic-hypernatremic syndrome, because she is to be inserted between the majority of patients who have little or no osmotically mediated AVP release and the case of a child, recently described, who had completely normal AVP secretion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arginine Vasopressin / metabolism*
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypernatremia / complications
  • Hypernatremia / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Sarcoidosis / complications
  • Sarcoidosis / physiopathology
  • Syndrome
  • Thirst / physiology
  • Vasopressins / metabolism


  • Vasopressins
  • Arginine Vasopressin