How do elevated glucose levels affect serum Na+ levels?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Christie P Thomas, MBBS, FRCP, FASN, FAHA; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Elevated glucose levels decrease the measured serum Na+ levels by 1.6 mEq/L for every 100 mg/dL increase in glucose. This results from the osmotic effect of glucose drawing water into the intravascular space. Plasma osmolality is high in this situation. This is a form of transient hyponatremia that corrects itself as hyperglycemia is reversed. [17] A similar form of hyponatremia can occur with any osmotically active substance in plasma, such as mannitol or dextran.


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