Sodium depletion and secondary hyperaldosteronism in outpatients with an ileostomy: a cross-sectional study

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Objective: Patients with an ileostomy may experience postoperative electrolyte derangement and dehydration but are presumed to stabilise thereafter. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of sodium depletion in stable outpatients with an ileostomy and applied established methods to estimate their fluid status.

Methods: We invited 178 patients with an ileostomy through a region-wide Quality-of-Life-survey to undergo outpatient evaluation of their sodium and fluid status. The patients delivered urine and blood samples, had bioelectrical impedance analysis performed and answered a questionnaire regarding dietary habits.

Results: Out of 178 invitees, 49 patients with an ileostomy were included; 22 patients (45%, 95% CI, 31–59%) had unmeasurably low urinary sodium excretion (<20 mmol/L), indicative of chronic sodium depletion, and 26% (95% CI, 16–41%) had plasma aldosterone levels above the reference value. Patients with unmeasurably low urinary sodium excretion had low estimated glomerular filtration rates (median 76, IQR 63–89, mL/min/1.73m2) and low venous blood plasma CO2 (median 24, IQR 21–26, mmol/L), indicative of chronic renal impairment and metabolic acidosis. Bioelectrical impedance analysis, plasma osmolality, creatinine and sodium values were not informative in determining sodium status in this population.

Conclusion: A high proportion of patients with an ileostomy may be chronically sodium depleted, indicated by absent urinary sodium excretion, secondary hyperaldosteronism and chronic renal impairment, despite normal standard biochemical tests. Sodium depletion may adversely affect longstanding renal function. Future studies should investigate methods to estimate and monitor fluid status and aim to develop treatments to improve sodium depletion and dehydration in patients with an ileostomy.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)971–979
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Ileostomy, Sodium, Aldosterone, Water-electrolyte imbalance, Rehydration solutions

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