Association Between Serum Sodium Abnormalities and Clinicoradiologic Parameters in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Philip Mwachaka
  • Angela Amayo
  • Nimrod Mwang’ombe
  • Peter Kitunguu
Keywords: Traumatic brain injury, hyponatremia, hypernatremia, outcomes, clinico-radiologic parameters


Background: Secondary brain insults after traumatic brain injury such as electrolyte dysfunctions are associated with poor outcomes. This study aimed at determining the incidence of serum sodium ion abnormalities and their association with clinicoradiological parameters.

Methods: A prospective crosssectional study of one hundred and seventeen patients with severe head injury. Data collected included patient demographics, prehospital interventions, clinical examination findings, computed tomography (CT) scan head findings, serum sodium ion levels (at admission and 48 h later), and outcome (30 days).

Results: At admission, 93(79.5%) patients had normal serum sodium ion levels. However, 48 h post-admission, hypernatremia was  prevalent in 56(63.6%) patients (p < 0.001). Hypernatremia was significantly associated with the use of mannitol (p = 0.036), lower Glasgow  Coma Score (p = 0.047), higher Injury Severity Score (p = 0.015), presence of subdural hematoma (p = 0.044), midline shift >5 mm (p = 0.048), compressed/absent basal cistern (p = 0.010), and higher Rotterdam CT Score (p = 0.003). Hypernatremia reported 48 h  postadmission was associated with a high 30-day mortality rate [odds ratio (OR) 3.55, p = 0.0095]. Risk of mortality associated with hyponatremia and hypernatremia at admission was not statistically significant.

Conclusion: While both hyponatremia and hypernatremia can occur in serious TBI patients, hypernatremia predominates 48 hours post- admission and is associated with statistically significant increased risk of death.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2523-0816
print ISSN: 1999-9674