The outcome of hyponatremia in a general hospital population

Clin Nephrol. 1984 Aug;22(2):72-6.


To determine the prognosis of hyponatremia in an unselected population, we collected clinical and laboratory data and determined the outcome of hospitalization for all hyponatremic patients in a general hospital over a three month period. Of the 78 patients studied, 36 (46%) had CNS symptoms while 42 (54%) were asymptomatic. Using a diagnostic algorithm we classified the patients with CNS symptoms into two groups: those with CNS symptoms due to hyponatremia (11 patients) and those with CNS symptoms caused by other factors (25 patients). Twenty-one patients (27%) died during the study. The highest mortality (64%) was in patients with CNS symptoms related to factors other than hyponatremia. Patients with CNS symptoms due to hyponatremia had a mortality rate (9%) similar to that of patients without CNS symptoms (10%). These findings suggest that the relationship between hyponatremia and outcome is probably not causal. Rather, hyponatremia appears to be a marker for severe underlying disease that carries a poor prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / mortality
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / blood
  • Hyponatremia / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Sodium / blood


  • Sodium