Fluctuation of Serum Sodium and Its Impact on Short and Long-Term Mortality following Acute Pulmonary Embolism

Austin Chin Chwan Ng, Vincent Chow, Andy Sze Chiang Yong, Tommy Chung, Leonard Kritharides*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background:Baseline hyponatremia predicts acute mortality following pulmonary embolism (PE). The natural history of serum sodium levels after PE and the relevance to acute and long-term mortality after the PE is unknown.Methods:Clinical details of all patients (n = 1023) admitted to a tertiary institution from 2000-2007 with acute PE were retrieved retrospectively. Serum sodium results from days 1, 3-4, 5-6, and 7 of admission were pre-specified and recorded. We excluded 250 patients without day-1 sodium or had <1 subsequent sodium assessment, leaving 773 patients as the studied cohort. There were 605 patients with normonatremia (sodium≥135 mmol/L throughout admission), 57 with corrected hyponatremia (day-1 sodium<135 mmol/L, then normalized), 54 with acquired hyponatremia and 57 with persistent hyponatremia. Patients' outcomes were tracked from a state-wide death registry and analyses performed using multivariate-regression modelling.Results:Mean (±standard deviation) day-1 sodium was 138.2±4.3 mmol/L. Total mortality (mean follow-up 3.6±2.5 years) was 38.8% (in-hospital mortality 3.2%). There was no survival difference between studied (n = 773) and excluded (n = 250) patients. Day-1 sodium (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.83-0.95, p = 0.001) predicted in-hospital death. Relative to normonatremia, corrected hyponatremia increased the risk of in-hospital death 3.6-fold (95% CI 1.20-10.9, p = 0.02) and persistent hyponatremia increased the risk 5.6-fold (95% CI 2.08-15.0, p = 0.001). Patients with either persisting or acquired hyponatremia had worse long-term survival than those who had corrected hyponatremia or had been normonatremic throughout (aHR 1.47, 95% CI 1.06-2.03, p = 0.02).Conclusion:Sodium fluctuations after acute PE predict acute and long-term outcome. Factors mediating the correction of hyponatremia following acute PE warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61966
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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