Author(s): Olson BR, Gumowski J, Rubino D, Oldfield EH
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Abstract Hyponatremia after pituitary surgery is presumed to be due to antidiuresis; however, detailed prospective investigations of water balance that would define its pathophysiology and true incidence have not been established. In this prospective study, the authors documented water balance in patients for 10 days after surgery, monitored any sodium dysregulation, further characterized the pathophysiology of hyponatremia, and correlated the degree of intraoperative stalk and posterior pituitary damage with water balance dysfunction. Ninety-two patients who underwent transsphenoidal pituitary surgery were studied. To evaluate posterior pituitary damage, a questionnaire was completed immediately after surgery in 61 patients. To examine the osmotic regulation of vasopressin secretion in normonatremic patients, water loads were administered 7 days after surgery. Patients were categorized on the basis of postoperative plasma sodium patterns. After pituitary surgery, 25\% of the patients developed spontaneous isolated hyponatremia (Day 7 +/- 0.4). Twenty percent of the patients developed diabetes insipidus and 46\% remained normonatremic. Plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) was not suppressed in hyponatremic patients during hypoosmolality or in two-thirds of the normonatremic patients after water-load testing. Only one-third of the normonatremic patients excreted the water load and suppressed AVP normally. Hyponatremic patients were more natriuretic, had lower dietary sodium intake, and had similar fluid intake and cortisol and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) levels compared with normonatremic patients. Normnonatremia, hyponatremia, and diabetes insipidus were associated with increasing degrees of surgical manipulation of the posterior lobe and pituitary stalk during surgery. The pathophysiology of hyponatremia after transsphenoidal surgery is complex. It is initiated by pituitary damage that produces AVP secretion and dysfunctional osmoregulation in most surgically treated patients. Additional events that act together to promote the clinical expression of hyponatremia include nonatrial natriuretic peptide-related excess natriuresis, inappropriately normal fluid intake and thirst, as well as low dietary sodium intake. Patients should be monitored closely for plasma sodium, plentiful dietary sodium replacement, mild fluid restriction, and attention to symptoms of hyponatremia during the first 2 weeks after transsphenoidal surgery.
This article was published in J Neurosurg
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access