Asymptomatic meningitis diagnosed by positron emission tomography in a patient with syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2021 Jul 22;15(1):390. doi: 10.1186/s13256-021-02956-6.


Background: Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion can be caused by arginine-vasopressin-producing tumors or enhanced arginine vasopressin secretion from the posterior pituitary gland due to central nervous system disorders and intrathoracic diseases.

Case presentation: A 53-year-old Asian man was hospitalized with complaints of tremor and hiccups. Laboratory examination revealed findings suggestive of hypotonic hyponatremia due to syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion. The patient did not complain of headache or photophobia, and showed no signs of meningeal irritation. Positron emission tomography-computed tomography revealed 18F-fluoro-deoxy-glucose accumulation along the cervical spinal cord, based on which the patient was diagnosed as having aseptic meningitis. The hyponatremia was treated successfully by fluid restriction, and optimum plasma sodium concentration was maintained by tolvaptan administration.

Conclusions: This case underscores the need to consider the possibility of mild meningitis as the cause of syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion in patients without other identifiable cause.

Keywords: Aseptic meningitis; Hyponatremia; SIADH; Vasopressin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia* / etiology
  • Inappropriate ADH Syndrome* / complications
  • Inappropriate ADH Syndrome* / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Meningitis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists