To determine whether polydipsia is responsible for the altered water excretion in the subset of polydipsic schizophrenic patients who develop hyponatremia, the regulation of antidiuretic function was assessed in polydipsic schizophrenic patients with hyponatremia (n = 5), polydipsic schizophrenic patients without hyponatremia (n = 5), nonpolydipsic schizophrenic patients (n = 6), and normal controls (n = 8). The severity and duration of polyuria were similar in the two polydipsic groups. After oral water loading, maximal free water clearance was similar across all four groups. Free water clearance diminished, however, at lower plasma osmolalities in the hyponatremic polydipsics (P < 0.02) and at higher plasma osmolalities in the normonatremic polydipsics (P < 0.05) relative to that in the nonpolydipsic schizophrenics and normal subjects. The increase in plasma vasopressin after osmotic stimulation with hypertonic saline was slightly, but significantly (P < 0.02), blunted in both polydipsic groups. Hyponatremia occurs in some polydipsic schizophrenics because the relationship between free water clearance to plasma osmolality/sodium is shifted to the left. Polydipsia per se is not responsible for this still unexplained shift.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical