Diabetes insipidus in infants and children

Dabrowski, E.; Kadakia, R.; Zimmerman, D.

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 May 10; 30(2):317-28


Diabetes insipidus, the inability to concentrate urine resulting in polyuria and polydipsia, can have different manifestations and management considerations in infants and children compared to adults. Central diabetes insipidus, secondary to lack of vasopressin production, is more common in children than is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, the inability to respond appropriately to vasopressin. The goal of treatment in both forms of diabetes insipidus is to decrease urine output and thirst while allowing for appropriate fluid balance, normonatremia and ensuring an acceptable quality of life for each patient. An infant's obligate need to consume calories as liquid and the need for readjustment of medication dosing in growing children both present unique challenges for diabetes insipidus management in the pediatric population. Treatment modalities typically include vasopressin or thiazide diuretics. Special consideration must be given when managing diabetes insipidus in the adipsic patient, post-surgical patient, and in those undergoing chemotherapy or receiving medications that alter free water clearance.

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