Acute Water Intoxication With Resultant Hypo-Osmolar Hyponatremia Complicated by Hypotension Secondary to Diffuse Third-Spacing.

Hypotonic hyponatremia secondary to acute water intoxication is most commonly associated with primary polydipsia in the setting of psychiatric illness. However, in certain circumstances, otherwise healthy individuals can be compelled to consume large enough volumes of water to overwhelm the kidney's dilutional capacity of urine and cause a potentially life-threatening rapid decline in serum sodium. We present such a case of a 20-year-old basic military trainee with acute symptomatic hypotonic hyponatremia after drinking five to six liters of water prior to urine drug testing. The clinical manifestations of this disorder are non-specific and can be seen with many different pathologic processes, presenting a diagnostic challenge to the emergency clinician. This challenge can be further complicated by unclear or unobtainable history depending on clinical presentation. The authors will discuss key diagnostic and treatment elements of this potentially life-threatening disease to encourage clinicians to utilize social history when evaluating cases of acute water intoxication and resultant symptomatic hypotonic hyponatremia.

as reported in: Rizzuto W, Shemery N, Bukowski J. Cureus. 2021 Sep:13(9):e18410. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18410.