Recognition and management of delayed hyponatremia following transsphenoidal pituitary surgery

Gabriel Zada, Charles Y. Liu, Dawn Fishback, Peter A. Singer, Martin H. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object. The goal of this study was to assess the incidence of symptomatic and occult hyponatremia in patients who had undergone transsphenoidal pituitary surgery. Methods. Patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery at the University of Southern California University Hospital between 1997 and 2004 had serum sodium levels drawn on an outpatient basis on postoperative Day 7. Patient records were retrospectively reviewed to determine the incidence of, and risk factors for, symptomatic and asymptomatic hyponatremia. Two hundred forty-one patients had routine serum sodium levels drawn as outpatients on postoperative Day 7. Twenty-three percent of these patients were found to be hyponatremic (Na ≤ 135 mEq/L). The overall incidence rate of symptomatic hyponatremia in the 241 patients was 5%. The majority of hyponatremic patients (80%) remained asymptomatic, whereas 20% became symptomatic. In patients with symptomatic hyponatremia, the mean sodium level at diagnosis was 120.5 mEq/L, compared with 128.4 mEq/L in asymptomatic, hyponatremic patients (p < 0.0001). Female patients were more likely to develop hyponatremia than male patients (33% compared with 22%, p < 0.03). Fifty-two percent of patients who had transient diabetes insipidus (DI) early in their postoperative course subsequently developed hyponatremia, compared with 21% of those who did not have DI (p < 0.001). Patient age, tumor type, and tumor size did not correlate with development of delayed hyponatremia. Outpatients with moderately and severely low sodium levels were 5 and 12.5 times more likely, respectively, to be symptomatic than were patients with mild hyponatremia. Conclusions. Delayed hyponatremia occurs more frequently than was previously suspected in patients who have undergone transsphenoidal surgery, especially in female patients and those who have previously had transient DI. The majority of hyponatremic patients remain asymptomatic. Obtaining a serum sodium value on an outpatient basis 1 week after pituitary surgery is helpful in recognition, risk stratification, and subsequent intervention, and may prevent potentially serious complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Hyponatremia
  • Pituitary tumor
  • Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone
  • Transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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