Extreme hyponatraemia with intact neurological outcome in a young child with Addison's disease

John Paul Smith*, Christine Burren, Yonas Cherinet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The authors present the case of a 6-year-old boy with a good neurological outcome from extreme hyponatraemia caused by autoimmune hypoadrenalism. He presented with 1 week of reduced appetite, lethargy, vomiting and one episode of diarrhoea. He was described as being slightly unsteady on his feet. Clinically he was alert, although intermittently confused, with dry mucous membranes and sunken eyes. Serum sodium was 96 mmol/l with normal serum potassium and renal function. He was initially treated with 3% saline intravenously, and his serum sodium increased to 128 mmol/l by day 3. He developed slurred speech and ataxia on day 4, although MRI brain showed no evidence of pontine myelinosis, and the symptoms resolved over 1 week. A Synacthen test on day 10 confirmed a diagnosis of Addison's disease and he was commenced on hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone replacement therapy. At 5 months follow-up there are no obvious neurological or developmental sequelae.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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