Cerebral salt-wasting syndrome (CSWS) is a rare endocrine condition featuring a low blood sodium concentration and dehydration in response to trauma/injury or the presence of tumors in or surrounding the brain. This form of low blood sodium is due to excessive sodium excretion from the normally functioning kidney due to a disorder of the cerebrum of the brain. The condition was initially described in 1950.
CSWS is usually caused by brain injury/trauma or cerebral lesion, tumor, or hematoma. CSWS is a diagnosis of exclusion and may be difficult to distinguish from the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), which develops under similar circumstances and also presents with hyponatremia. The main clinical difference is that of total fluid status of the patient: CSWS leads to a relative or overt low blood volume whereas SIADH is consistent with a normal or high blood volume. If blood-sodium levels increase when fluids are restricted, SIADH is more likely.
While CSWS usually appears within the first week after brain injury and spontaneously resolves in 2–4 weeks, it can sometimes last for months or years. In contrast to the use of fluid restriction to treat SIADH, CSWS is treated by replacing the urinary losses of water and sodium with hydration and sodium replacement. The mineralocorticoid medication fludrocortisone can also improve the low sodium level.
^Peters JP, Welt LG, Sims EA, Orloff J, Needham J (1950). "A salt-wasting syndrome associated with cerebral disease". Trans. Assoc. Am. Physicians63: 57–64. PMID14855556.
^ abTierney, Lawrence M.; McPhee, Stephen J.; Papadakis, Maxine A. (2006). Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2007 (Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment). McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 1010. ISBN0-07-147247-9.