Hyponatraemia, defined as a serum sodium concentration <135 mmol/l, is the most common disorder of body fluid and electrolyte balance encountered in clinical practice. It can lead to a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms, from subtle to severe or even life threatening, and is associated with increased mortality, morbidity and length of hospital stay in patients presenting with a range of conditions. Despite this, the management of patients remains problematic. The prevalence of hyponatraemia in widely different conditions and the fact that hyponatraemia is managed by clinicians with a broad variety of backgrounds have fostered diverse institution- and speciality-based approaches to diagnosis and treatment. To obtain a common and holistic view, the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM), the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) and the European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA–EDTA), represented by European Renal Best Practice (ERBP), have developed the Clinical Practice Guideline on the diagnostic approach and treatment of hyponatraemia as a joint venture of three societies representing specialists with a natural interest in hyponatraemia. In addition to a rigorous approach to methodology and evaluation, we were keen to ensure that the document focused on patient-important outcomes and included utility for clinicians involved in everyday practice.
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