Author(s): Cusano AJ, Thies HL, Siegal FP, Dreisbach AW, Maesaka JK
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Abstract We performed prospective and retrospective studies of 96 consecutive patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or AIDS-related complex (ARC) to determine the incidence, pathogenesis, and clinical significance of hyponatremia, defined as serum sodium levels less than or equal to 130 mmol/L on more than one occasion. Thirty (31.3\%), six with ARC and 24 with AIDS, had hyponatremia, and it developed in 20 as outpatients. Age, gender, duration of illness, and weight loss did not differ between groups. The hyponatremic patient had more opportunistic illnesses, including Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and cytomegalovirus infections, and had a mortality of 70\% as compared to 36.4\% of the patients without hyponatremia. The probability of 50\% survival after diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the hyponatremic group was 11.5 months, as compared to 39 months for those without hyponatremia, p less than 0.001. The probability of 50\% survival after development of hyponatremia was 4.5 months and the median length of time to development of hyponatremia was 12.5 months after diagnosis of HIV infection. Eighty-eight percent had hypovolemia and 12\% normovolemia. Seventeen of 21 with hypovolemia had no evident source of fluid loss. Two had Addison's disease, and 15 had unexpectedly high urine sodium concentration without evidence of renal or adrenal insufficiency. Hyponatremia occurs commonly in ambulatory patients with ARC or AIDS, appears in patients with higher mortality and morbidity, and does not represent a terminal event. Most patients had hypovolemia and unexpectedly high urine sodium concentration, suggesting defective renal sodium conservation.
This article was published in J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr
and referenced in Medical & Surgical Urology