Hyponatremia in cancer patients


Hyponatremia is the most frequent electrolyte disorder in hospitalized patients but also a well known poor prognostic factor in cancer patients. Syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) is often misdiagnosed by oncologist because of difficulties in the interpretation of laboratory tests.

Etiology is heterogeneous but the predominant cause is represented by the unbalance between excessive presence of water and serum sodium deficiency.

Ectopic production of arginine vasopressin (AVP) develops more frequently in small cell lung cancer but it is not so rare in other malignancies.

Neurological impairment may range from subclinical to life-threating symptoms depending by the rate of serum sodium deficiency. Appropriate diagnosis is essential to set a proper therapy. When hyponatremia is caused by SIADH, hypertonic saline infusion is indicated for acute presentation whereas fluid restriction is preferred in case of chronic asymptomatic evolution.

Other options include vaptans, vasopressin receptor antagonists, targeted specifically for the correction of euvolemic hyponatremia.

The aim of this brief report is to provide concise and specific informations for the management of SIADH in oncology clinical practice.

Tumori 2015; 101(2): 246 - 248




Marco Platania, Elena Verzoni, Milena Vitali

Article History


Financial support: No financial support received for this work.
Conflict of interest: We declare no conflict of interest.

This article is available as full text PDF.

  • If you are a Subscriber, please log in now.

  • Article price: Eur 36,00
  • You will be granted access to the article for 72 hours and you will be able to download any format (PDF or ePUB). The article will be available in your login area under "My PayPerView". You will need to register a new account (unless you already own an account with this journal), and you will be guided through our online shop. Online purchases are paid by Credit Card through PayPal.
  • If you are not a Subscriber you may:
  • Subscribe to this journal
  • Unlimited access to all our archives, 24 hour a day, every day of the week.



  • Department of Medical Oncology, Unit 1, Fondazione IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan - Italy

Article usage statistics

The blue line displays unique views in the time frame indicated.
The yellow line displays unique downloads.
Views and downloads are counted only once per session.

No supplementary material is available for this article.