Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte abnormality encountered both in the inpatient and outpatient clinical settings in the United States. Rapid correction leads to a deranged cerebral osmotic gradient causing osmotic demyelination syndrome. Coexisting azotemia is considered to be protective against osmotic demyelination syndrome owing to its counteractive effect on osmolarity change that occurs with rapid hyponatremia correction. In this article, we report the case of a 37-year-old male who presented with altered mentation, acute azotemia, and severe electrolyte derangements, with serum blood urea nitrogen 160 mg/dL, creatinine 8.4 mg/dL, sodium 107 mEq/L, potassium 6.1 mEq/L, bicarbonate 7 mEq/L, and anion gap of 33. Given refractory hyperkalemia with electrocardiogram changes, emergent dialysis was performed. Despite our efforts to avoid rapid correction, serum sodium was corrected to 124 mEq/L and blood urea nitrogen decreased to 87 mg/dL at the end of the 5-hour dialysis session. Fortunately, hospital course and 4-week post-discharge clinic follow-ups were uncomplicated with no neurological sequela confirmed by neurological examination and magnetic resonance imaging.

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Published in Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports, v. 8.

© 2020 American Federation for Medical Research

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