Author(s): Diederich S, Eckmanns T, Exner P, AlSaadi N, Bhr V,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: A water deprivation test or a hypertonic saline infusion test with the measurement of plasma osmolality and plasma vasopressin are the gold standard tests in the differential diagnosis of polyuric syndromes. Because commercially available vasopressin kits are too insensitive for this approach, and the concentration of vasopressin in urine is much higher than in plasma, urinary vasopressin measurements may be an alternative to the more difficult plasma vasopressin measurement. DESIGN: The diagnostic value of the measurement of urinary vasopressin with a rather insensitive commercially available vasopressin kit was compared with plasma vasopressin measurement by a highly sensitive radioimmunoassay (RIA). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirteen normal subjects and 27 patients with polyuria/polydipsia were examined by an 8-h fluid deprivation test. In all blood samples (0800 h, 1200 h, 1400 h and 1600 h) and in all urine collections (2-hourly fractions), osmolality as well as vasopressin were measured. RESULTS: Using plasma vasopressin measurement with a highly sensitive RIA as gold standard test, nine patients were classified as having primary polydipsia, whereas 18 had partial or complete cranial diabetes insipidus. Whereas the substitution of plasma vasopressin measurement by urinary vasopressin measurement alone did not provide 100\% separation between both groups, the product of urinary vasopressin and urinary osmolality related to plasma osmolality completely separated the patients with primary polydipsia from those with diabetes insipidus. Urinary measurement of vasopressin and osmolality alone, which was recommended as a noninvasive diagnostic procedure in children, was too insensitive for exact differential diagnosis in our adult patients. CONCLUSIONS: The simultaneous measurement of plasma vasopressin and plasma osmolality in a dehydration test is the most powerful diagnostic tool in the differential diagnosis of polyuria/polydipsia. However, if highly sensitive assays for plasma vasopressin measurements are not available, the measurement of urinary vasopressin with commercially available, less sensitive RIAs may be a diagnostic alternative, which showed nearly the same sensitivity as plasma vasopressin measurement in our study population.
This article was published in Clin Endocrinol (Oxf)
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy