The Relationship Between Manifestation of Diabetes Insipidus and Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate in Brain Death

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Critical care medicine


OBJECTIVES: Systematic reviews have revealed that up to 50% of patients with brain death have residual hypothalamic/pituitary activity based on the absence of central diabetes insipidus (DI). We hypothesized that different degrees of renal dysfunction may impact the presence of DI in patients with brain death.

DESIGN: Single-center prospective data collection.

SETTING: ICUs in a tertiary academic hospital.

PATIENTS: All adult patients declared brain dead over 12 years.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: DI was diagnosed by polyuria, low urine specific gravity, and increasing serum sodium, measured in close proximity. Renal function was assessed by the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), calculated using the simplified modification of diet in renal disease equation. Analysis was completed in 192 of 234 patients with brain death after excluding those with missing data, those younger than 18 years and those on vasopressin infusions. One hundred twenty-two patients (63.5%) developed DI and 70 patients (36.5%) did not. The proportion of DI decreased significantly with decreasing eGFR: for eGFR greater than 60 mL/min, DI was present in 77.2%; for eGFR 15-60 mL/min, DI was present in 54.5%; for eGFR 14.9-9.8 mL/min, DI was present in 32%; none of the 14 patients with eGFR less than or equal to 9.7 mL/min ever experienced DI ( p < 0.001). Using logistic regression, for every 10 mL/min decrease in eGFR, the odds of DI decreased 0.83 times (95% CI, 0.76-0.90, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Renal dysfunction significantly impacts DI's clinical manifestation in brain death. We report that patients who experience brain death with severe renal dysfunction may not develop clinical signs of DI.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Humans; Brain Death; Glomerular Filtration Rate; Diabetes Insipidus; Diabetes Mellitus

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ePub ahead of print





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