Clinical Webinar

Serum Osmolality Disorders — Importance, Evaluation and Treatment

Hyponatremia is a common condition in both hospitalized patients and in the community. It is associated with multiple adverse outcomes including an increased risk of falls and fractures which can be particularly devastating for elderly patients. In addition, hyponatremia in hospitalized patients has been associated with prolonged hospital stays and higher in-hospital mortality. Thus, the ability to accurately diagnose the cause of hyponatremia as well as determine the proper course of treatment is vital. Measurement of the serum and urine osmolality plays a key role in the management of patients with hyponatremia. The serum sodium level is a surrogate marker of the serum osmolality but has important limitations and cannot take the place of osmolality testing in making an initial diagnosis. Serial measurements of the urine osmolality and electrolytes is necessary to guide the treatment of hyponatremia as the character of the urine can change in response to fluid and diuretic administration.

In this webinar, the featured speakers will discuss the epidemiology of hyponatremia as well as the common causes. They will discuss how to diagnose the cause of hyponatremia highlighting the key role that urine and serum osmolality testing plays in the management of these patients. The speakers will also introduce a novel topic including the basic urine metabolic panel (an order set that includes both urine electrolytes and osmolality to aid in seamless ordering of these tests) to prevent overcorrection in patients with chronic hyponatremia. Overly rapid correction of hyponatremia is known to cause osmotic demyelination — an iatrogenic brain injury that can lead to permanent disability. The speakers will, in addition, discuss the technology used to measure serum and urine osmolality.

Register for this webinar to develop a comprehensive understanding of the importance of hyponatremia, the key causes and the specific roles that laboratory tests including urine and serum osmolality play in guiding clinical care for this common and difficult to manage condition.