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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 117-118
Canadian Gastroenterology Elsewhere

Vasopressin Antagonists and Dilutional Hyponatremia

D Mohamed Babatin and Samuel S Lee

University of Calgary Liver Unit, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paradox of dilutional hyponatremia, as described by Ovid two millennia ago, continues to apply to patients with advanced cirrhosis today: they have unremitting thirst despite vastly increased total body water. Hyponatremia of less than 130 mmol/L occurs in 30% of cirrhotic patients (1), and is mainly due to the reduced capacity of their kidneys to excrete free water.