Accurate patient history contributes to differentiating diabetes insipidus: A case study

DaiWai M. Olson, LorieAnn G. Meek, John R. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This case study highlights the important contribution of nursing in obtaining an accurate health history. The case discussed herein initially appeared to be neurogenic diabetes insipidus (DI) secondary to a traumatic brain injury. The nursing staff, by reviewing the patient’s health history with his family, discovered a history of polydipsia and longstanding lithium use. Lithium is implicated in drug-induced nephrogenic DI, and because the patient had not received lithium since being admitted to the hospital, his treatment changed to focus on nephrogenic DI. By combining information from the patient history, the physical examination, and radiologic and laboratory studies, the critical care team demonstrated that the patient had been self-treating his lithium-induced nephrogenic DI and developed neurogenic DI secondary to brain trauma. Thus successful treatment required that nephrogenic and neurogenic DI be treated concomitantly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-230
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical–Surgical


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