Cerebral salt wasting syndrome in patients with minor head trauma – two case reports

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Gabriela Csipak1, Natalia Hagau1,2

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Emergency County Hospital, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
“Iuliu Haţieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


We describe two polytrauma patients without severe head trauma who developed Cerebral Salt Wasting Syndrome (CSWS) during their stay in our ICU with natriuresis, hyponatremia and hypovolemia. Hyponatremia encountered in CSWS and the syndrome of inadequate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) is a common electrolyte finding in patients with severe head trauma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, malignancy and infections of the central nervous system. CSWS was an unexpected electrolyte finding in our patients with minor head trauma without neurological or neurosurgical problems.

To rule out other causes of hyponatremia (SIADH, secondary adrenal dysfunction and thyroid dysfunction) a correct diagnosis is very important, as proper treatment of CSWS with fluid and salt replacement will decrease mortality and morbidity.

In conclusion, CSWS should be suspected in any polytrauma patient with minor head trauma and hyponatremia.

Keywords: cerebral salt wasting syndrome, hypovolemic hyponatremia, head trauma

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