Body Sodium, Potassium and Water in Peritoneal Dialysis-Associated Hyponatremia

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2014



This report presents a method quantitatively analyzing abnormalities of body water and monovalent cations (sodium plus potassium) in patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) with true hyponatremia.


It is well known that in the face of euglycemia serum sodium concentration is determined by the ratio between the sum of total body sodium plus total body potassium on the one hand and total body water on the other. We developed balance equations that enabled us to calculate excesses or deficits, relative to the state of eunatremia and dry weight, in terms of volumes of water and volumes of isotonic solutions of sodium plus potassium when patients presented with hyponatremia. We applied this method retrospectively to 5 episodes of PD-associated hyponatremia (serum sodium concentration 121-130 mEq/L) and compared the findings of the method with those of the clinical evaluation of these episodes.


Estimates of the new method and findings of the clinical evaluation were in agreement in 4 of the 5 episodes, representing euvolemic hyponatremia (normal total body sodium plus potassium along with water excess) in 1 patient, hypovolemic hyponatremia (deficit of total body sodium plus potassium along with deficit of total body water) in 2 patients, and hypervolemic hyponatremia (excess of total body sodium along with larger excess of total body water) in 1 patient. In the 5(th) patient, in whom the new method suggested the presence of water excess and a relatively small deficit of monovalent cations, the clinical evaluation had failed to detect the cation deficit.


Evaluation of imbalances in body water and monovalent cations in PD-associated hyponatremia by the method presented in this report agrees with the clinical evaluation in most instances and could be used as a guide to the treatment of hyponatremia. Prospective studies are needed to test the potential clinical applications of this method.


The version of record is available from the publisher at http://www.pdiconnect.com/content/34/3/253. Copyright © 2014 International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis. All rights reserved. doi: 10.3747/pdi.2012.00201