Pseudohyponatremia has been reported in association with severe hypertriglyceridemia and hyperparaproteinemia, but its association with severe hypercholesterolemia is not well-known. We report a 43-year-old woman with refractory primary biliary cirrhosis who presented with asymptomatic hyponatremia (121 mmol/L; normal range: 135-145 mmol/L). She was ultimately found to have a total serum cholesterol level of 2415 mg/dL (normal range: 120-199 mg/dL) - secondary to accumulation of lipoprotein-X - causing pseudohyponatremia. The diagnosis was confirmed by measurement of serum osmolality (296 mOsm/kg H2O; normal range: 270-300 mOsm/kg H2O) and serum sodium by direct potentiometry (141 mmol/L). Furthermore, following 16 sessions of plasmapheresis over a 4-month period, there was marked lowering of serum cholesterol to 200 mg/dL and normalization of serum sodium (139 mmol/L) as measured by indirect potentiometry. This case shows that extreme hypercholesterolemia from elevation of lipoprotein-X particles in cholestasis can be a rare cause of pseudohyponatremia. It highlights the need to measure serum sodium with direct potentiometry in the setting of extreme hypercholesterolemia and consider this possibility before initiating treatment of hyponatremia.
- Lipoprotein-X (LpX)
- Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine