What is the role of serum sodium measurement in the workup of hypernatremia?

Updated: Mar 17, 2020
  • Author: Zina Semenovskaya, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Serum sodium level indications include the following:

  • Serum sodium levels of more than 190 mEq/L usually indicate long-term salt ingestion
  • Serum sodium levels of more than 170 mEq/L usually indicate DI
  • Serum sodium levels of 150-170 mEq/L usually indicate dehydration

A study by Solak indicated that results from blood gas analyzers (BGAs), which may be used in the emergency department to measure sodium pending results from biochemistry laboratory autoanalyzers (BLAs), tend to significantly differ from BLA values. It was found that BLA serum sodium values tended to be higher than BGA results for hyponatremia, eunatremia, and hypernatremia, with an absolute mean difference of over 4 mmol/L for the three groups. [14]


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