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Hyponatremia: Classification, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Author: Noah H. Carpenter, MD
(Click author's name for bio)

CE: 2 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 5016 reviews

Course Summary

Hyponatremia is the most common disorder of body fluid and electrolyte balance and can be caused by many different conditions. It can lead to a wide range of clinical symptoms that can be severe or even fatal. Hyponatremia can easily be overlooked or missed due to subtle, difficult-to-diagnose symptoms. It is important for clinicians to recognize the signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, and to be able to differentiate between potential causes in order to administer immediate, effective interventions aligned with the current treatment guidelines. Moderate and severe hyponatremia is associated with a higher incidence of in-hospital mortality as compared to individuals who are not hyponatremic. Chronic hyponatremia can become tolerated as the body and brain adapt to the state, and there is a significant risk of osmolar stress and life-threatening osmotic demyelination within the central nervous system if left untreated. Clinicians need to be diligent in identifying the potential causes and to balance the hyponatremic patient’s condition to prevent serious adverse outcomes.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  1. Introduction
  1. Definition and Etiology of Hyponatremia

       Classification of Hyponatremia

  1. Body Fluid Compartments and Regulation of Sodium
  1. Common Causes of Hyponatremia
  1. Symptoms of Hyponatremia
  1. Diagnosis of Hyponatremia
  1. Diagnostic Criteria for SIADH
  2. Differentiating Causes of Hypotonic Hyponatremia
  3. Hypotonic and Non-hypotonic Hyponatremia
  4. Clinical Assessment of Fluid Status
  5. Other Laboratory Tests
  6. Diuretics and Diagnosis
  1. Case Study: Euvolemic Hyponatremia
  1. Summary


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