Changing concepts in treatment of severe symptomatic hyponatremia. Rapid correction and possible relation to central pontine myelinolysis

Am J Med. 1985 Jun;78(6 Pt 1):897-902. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(85)90209-8.


Severe symptomatic hyponatremia (serum sodium level below 120 meq/liter) is often a life-threatening emergency that can result in permanent neurologic damage or death if left untreated. Early recognition and rapid correction to mildly hyponatremic levels by the administration of hypertonic saline are important in order to reduce the potential mortality and morbidity. If the serum sodium level is more than 105 meq/liter, it can be corrected to a value of 125 to 130 meq/liter. However, if the serum sodium level is less than 105 meq/liter, it may be safe to raise the value by only 20 meq/liter. Care should be taken to avoid acute correction to normonatremia or hypernatremia. Moreover, it is also of equal importance to avoid development of hypernatremia in the subsequent days following the correction to mild hyponatremia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Animals
  • Demyelinating Diseases / complications
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / complications
  • Hyponatremia / mortality
  • Hyponatremia / pathology
  • Hyponatremia / therapy*
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications
  • Pons / pathology
  • Rats
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / administration & dosage
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / adverse effects
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / therapeutic use
  • Sodium / blood
  • Time Factors


  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic
  • Sodium