The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Journal Article

Dysnatremia in COVID-19

June 14, 2021
 

Ploutarchos Tzoulis, Julian A Waung, Emmanouil Bagkeris, Ziad Hussein, Aiyappa Biddanda, John Cousins, Alice Dewsnip, Kanoyin Falayi, Will McCaughran, Chloe Mullins, Ammara Naeem, Muna Nwokolo, Helen Quah, Syed Bitat, Eithar Deyab, Swarupini Ponnampalam, Pierre-Marc Bouloux, Hugh Montgomery, Stephanie E Baldeweg
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 106, Issue 6, June 2021, Pages 1637–1648
https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab107

Abstract

Context

Dysnatremia is an independent predictor of mortality in patients with bacterial pneumonia. There is paucity of data about the incidence and prognostic impact of abnormal sodium concentration in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Objective

This work aimed to examine the association of serum sodium during hospitalization with key clinical outcomes, including mortality, need for advanced respiratory support and acute kidney injury (AKI), and to explore the role of serum sodium as a marker of inflammatory response in COVID-19.

Methods

This retrospective longitudinal cohort study, including all adult patients who presented with COVID-19 to 2 hospitals in London over an 8-week period, evaluated the association of dysnatremia (serum sodium < 135 or > 145 mmol/L, hyponatremia, and hypernatremia, respectively) at several time points with inpatient mortality, need for advanced ventilatory support, and AKI.

Results

The study included 488 patients (median age, 68 years). At presentation, 24.6% of patients were hyponatremic, mainly due to hypovolemia, and 5.3% hypernatremic. Hypernatremia 2 days after admission and exposure to hypernatremia at any time point during hospitalization were associated with a 2.34-fold (95% CI, 1.08–5.05; P = .0014) and 3.05-fold (95% CI, 1.69–5.49; P < .0001) increased risk of death, respectively, compared to normonatremia. Hyponatremia at admission was linked with a 2.18-fold increase in the likelihood of needing ventilatory support (95% CI, 1.34–3.45, P = .0011). Hyponatremia was not a risk factor for in-hospital mortality, except for the subgroup of patients with hypovolemic hyponatremia. Sodium values were not associated with the risk for AKI and length of hospital stay.

Conclusion

Abnormal sodium levels during hospitalization are risk factors for poor prognosis, with hypernatremia and hyponatremia being associated with a greater risk of death and respiratory failure, respectively. Serum sodium values could be used for risk stratification in patients with COVID-19.

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