Vasopressin-2 receptor antagonists, collectively known as the 'vaptans', provide a new approach to the treatment of hyponatremia; therefore, an updated Review of the pathophysiology of hyponatremia is particularly timely. After briefly defining hyponatremia and introducing its clinical aspects and complications, we present an approach to the diagnosis and evaluation of hyponatremia that is based primarily on the often-underused concept of free water clearance and, more specifically, the electrolyte-free water clearance. Then we review the use of vasopressin receptor antagonists in the management of hyponatremia from the standpoint of their pharmacology, their mechanism of action, and available efficacy data from clinical trials.
- Electrolyte-free water clearance
- Vasopressin antagonists
ASJC Scopus subject areas