BACKGROUND: Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte abnormality in clinical practice, but little is known about the association between febrile urinary tract infection (UTI) and hyponatremia or its significance to clinical outcomes.
METHODS: Data from 140 children with febrile UTI between 2000 and 2010 were retrospectively analyzed. Laboratory examinations [white blood cell (WBC) count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and serum sodium concentration], renal ultrasonography, (99m)Technetium-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scintigraphy, and voiding cystourethrogram were performed. Culture growing >50,000 colonies of one single bacterial species on a urine sample obtained by catheter or >100,000 colonies on two clean-catch samples was required to establish diagnosis of UTI.
RESULTS: In children with renal cortical defects diagnosed after DMSA scintigraphy (group 1), duration of fever was significantly longer (P = 0.038) and WBC (P = 0.047) and CRP (P < 0.0001) levels significantly higher than in those without renal cortical defects (group 2). However, serum sodium levels were significantly lower in group 1 than group 2 (135.9 ± 2.4 vs 137.4 ± 2.7 mEq/L, P = 0.007). Hyponatremia (serum sodium ≤ 135 mEq/L) was also more frequent in group 1 than in group 2 (74.1 % vs 45.3 %, P = 0.012). Serum sodium concentration was negatively correlated with WBC count (r = -0.156, P = 0.011) and CRP levels (r = -0.160, P= 0.028).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that hyponatremia may be a substantial inflammatory marker and is significantly and independently associated with the degree of inflammation in children with febrile UTI.