Hyponatremia and bone disease

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Hyponatremia and bone disease

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Title: Hyponatremia and bone disease
Author: Negri, Armando L.; Ayus, Juan C.
Abstract: Hip fractures represent a serious health risk in the elderly, causing substantial morbidity and mortality. There is now a considerable volume of literature suggesting that chronic hyponatremia increases the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for both falls and fractures in the elderly. Hyponatremia appears to contribute to falls and fractures by two mechanisms. First, it produces mild cognitive impairment, resulting in unsteady gait and falls; this is probably due to the loss of glutamate (a neurotransmitter involved in gait function) as an osmolyte during brain adaptation to chronic hyponatremia. Second, hyponatremia directly contributes to osteoporosis and increased bone fragility by inducing increased bone resorption to mobilize sodium stores in bone. Low extracellular sodium directly stimulates osteoclastogenesis and bone resorptive activity through decreased cellular uptake of ascorbic acid and the induction of oxidative stress; these effects occur in a sodium level-dependent manner. Hyponatremic patients have elevated circulating arginine-vasopressin (AVP) levels, and AVP acting on two receptors expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts, Avpr1α and Avpr2, can increase bone resorption and decrease osteoblastogenesis. Should we be screening for low serum sodium in patients with osteoporosis or assessing bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with hyponatremia? The answers to these questions have not been established. Definitive answers will require randomized controlled studies that allocate elderly individuals with mild hyponatremia to receive either active treatment or no treatment for hyponatremia, to determine whether correction of hyponatremia prevents gait disturbances and changes in BMD, thereby reducing the risk of fractures. Until such studies are conducted, physicians caring for elderly patients must be aware of the association between hyponatremia and bone disorders. As serum sodium is a readily available, simple, and affordable biochemical measurement, clinicians should look for hyponatremia in elderly patients, especially in those receiving medications that can cause hyponatremia. Furthermore, elderly patients with an unsteady gait and/or confusion should be evaluated for the presence of mild hyponatremia, and if present, treatment should be initiated. Finally, elderly patients presenting with an orthopedic injury should have serum sodium checked and hyponatremia corrected, if present.
URI: https://riu.austral.edu.ar/handle/123456789/778
Date: 2016-09-24


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