Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
ENDOCRINOLOGY IN THE TIME OF COVID-19_ Management of diabetes insipidus and hyponatraemia.pdf (293.61 kB)

Endocrinology in the time of COVID-19: management of diabetes insipidus and hyponatraemia

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-02, 15:03 authored by Mirjam Christ-Crain, Ewout J Hoorn, Mark SherlockMark Sherlock, Christopher Thompson, John A H Wass
COVID-19 has changed the nature of medical consultations, emphasizing virtual patient counseling, with relevance for patients with diabetes insipidus (DI) or hyponatraemia. The main complication of desmopressin treatment in DI is dilutional hyponatraemia. Since plasma sodium monitoring is not always possible in times of COVID-19, we recommend to delay the desmopressin dose once a week until aquaresis occurs allowing excess retained water to be excreted. Patients should measure their body weight daily. Patients with DI admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 have a high risk for mortality due to volume depletion. Specialists must supervise fluid replacement and dosing of desmopressin. Patients after pituitary surgery should drink to thirst and measure their body weight daily to early recognize the development of the postoperative syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis (SIAD). They should know hyponatraemia symptoms. The prevalence of hyponatraemia in patients with pneumonia due to COVID-19 is not yet known, but seems to be low. In contrast, hypernatraemia may develop in COVID-19 patients in ICU, from different multifactorial reasons, for example, due to insensible water losses from pyrexia, increased respiration rate and use of diuretics. Hypernatraemic dehydration may contribute to the high risk of acute kidney injury in COVID-19. IV fluid replacement should be administered with caution in severe cases of COVID-19 because of the risk of pulmonary oedema.



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Published Citation

Christ-Crain M, Hoorn EJ, Sherlock M, Thompson CJ, Wass JAH. Endocrinology in the time of COVID-19: management of diabetes insipidus and hyponatraemia. Eur J Endocrinol. 2020;183(1):G9-G15

Publication Date

July 2020

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Medicine


BioScientifica Ltd


  • Published Version (Version of Record)