Where there is sodium there may be sepsis.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2019;9(4):296-299
Authors: De Freitas G, Gudur A, Vela-Ortiz M, Jodelka J, Livert D, Krishnamurthy M
Hypernatremia affects up to 9% of critically ill patients upon hospital admission, especially in elderly patients with thirst impairment. However, hypernatremia is not entirely explained by fluid imbalance. Recent studies suggest that sodium is an important enhancer of the immune system, raising the question of whether inflammatory states such as sepsis may contribute to hypernatremia. Although sepsis patients with hypernatremia face a greater mortality rate, there is a lack of studies examining a potential association between hypernatremia and sepsis. Motivated by the frequent concurrence of hypernatremia and sepsis observed at an eastern Pennsylvanian community hospital, the current study was conducted to evaluate whether hypernatremia on admission may serve as a potential surrogate marker for sepsis. The medical records of 153 patients with hypernatremia on admission (serum sodium > 145mEq/L) were retrospectively analyzed. The mean age of patients was 81.1. Sepsis was observed in 77.1% of patients, of which 86.2% had dementia. This study demonstrated a positive correlation between hypernatremia on admission and the presence of sepsis. We suggest that the existence of hypernatremia should prompt clinicians to further investigate for sources of infection, especially in the elderly and patients with dementia.
PMID: 31528275 [PubMed]