Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion

  • Overview

    Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) occurs when excessive levels of antidiuretic hormones (hormones that help the kidneys and body conserve the correct amount of water) are produced.

    • The syndrome causes the body to retain water and certain levels of electrolytes in the blood to fall (such as sodium).
    • SIADH is rare in children.

    How Children’s approaches SIADH

    Here at Children’s Hospital Boston, SIADH is treated through our General Endocrinology Program—a multidisciplinary program that provides comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and management for patients with disorders associated with the endocrine system.

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    Children's Hospital Boston
    300 Longwood Avenue
    Boston MA 02115

     617-355-7476


  • In-Depth

    What causes SIADH?

    SIADH tends to occur in people with heart failure, or in people with a diseased hypothalamus (the part of the brain that works directly with the pituitary gland to produce hormones).

    In other cases, a certain cancer (elsewhere in the body, often in the lungs) may produce the antidiuretic hormone. SIADH may also be caused by:

    What are the symptoms of SIADH?

    While each child may experience symptoms differently, in more severe cases of SIADH, symptoms may include:

    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • irritability
    • personality changes, such as combativeness, confusion, and hallucinations
    • seizures
    • stupor
    • coma

    The symptoms of SIADH may resemble other problems or medical conditions.

  • Tests

    How do doctors diagnose SIADH?

    In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child’s doctor will order blood tests to measure sodium, potassium chloride levels and osmolality (concentration of solution in the blood).

    These tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of SIADH.

  • How is SIADH treated?

    The most common treatment for SIADH is fluid restriction of between 30 to 75 percent of normal fluid intake, depending on the severity of your child's disorder. If the condition is chronic, fluid restriction may need to be permanent.

    Treatment could also include:

    • certain medications that inhibit the action of ADH (this is rarely used in children because of the side effects)
    • surgical removal of a tumor that is producing ADH
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