Efficacy of Oral Versus Intravenous Hypertonic Saline in Runners with Hyponatremia

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Health Sciences


Objectives: To determine more conclusively whether intravenous (IV) administration of 3% saline is more efficacious than oral administration in reversing below normal blood sodium concentrations in runners with biochemical hyponatremia.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Methods: 26 hyponatremic race finishers participating in the 161-km Western States Endurance Run were randomized to receive either an oral (n = 11) or IV (n = 15) 100 mL bolus of 3% saline. Blood sodium concentration (Na+), plasma protein (to assess %plasma volume change), arginine vasopressin (AVP), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and urine (Na+) were measured before and 60 min following the 3% saline intervention.

Results: No significant differences were noted with respect to pre- to post-intervention blood [Na+] change between intervention groups, although blood [Na+] increased over time in both intervention groups (+2 mmol/L; p < 0.0001). Subjects receiving the IV bolus had a greater mean (±SD) plasma volume increase (+8.6 ± 4.5% versus 1.4% ± 5.7%; p < 0.01) without significant change in [AVP] (−0.2 ± 2.6 versus 0.0 ± 0.5 pg/mL; p = 0.49). 69% of subjects completing the intervention trial were able to produce urine at race finish with a mean (±SD) pre-intervention urine [Na+] of 15.2 ± 8.5 mmol/L (range 0–35; NS between groups). [BUN] of the entire cohort pre-intervention was 30.7 ± 10.5 mg/dL (range 13–50).

Conclusions: No group difference was noted in the primary outcome measure of change in blood [Na+] over 60 min of observation following a 100 mL bolus of either oral or IV 3% saline. Administration of an oral hypertonic saline solution can be efficacious in reversing low blood sodium levels in runners with mild EAH.


Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.jsams.org/article/S1440-2440(13)00195-3/abstract



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