Alterations in sodium levels can provide useful indications during hospitalization regarding the chances of overcoming Covid-19. It is the result of a study based on the observation of 380 patients, assisted at the Florentine university hospital of Careggi in the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic. This is explained by Alessandro Peri, author of the study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology “and head of the Unit dedicated to hypothalamic-pituitary pathologies and sodium alterations, within the Sod endocrinology complex of Careggi, directed by Mario Maggi.
“The serum concentrations of sodium – underlines Peri – are physiologically enclosed in a range between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter. Various studies, including the one on the sodium-Covid ratio carried out in Careggi, have shown an increased risk of mortality the further away from these reference values. In particular, in the published study, reduced concentrations of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia) emerged in 22.9% of patients at the time of admission. This condition was highlighted as an index of disease complexity in Covid-19 infection. In particular, blood sodium concentrations correlate directly with respiratory function parameters and inversely with levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 involved in lung tissue damage “.
“Hyponatremia – specifies Peri – was an independent risk factor for the use of assisted breathing systems and therefore for the transfer of patients to intensive care. Even more relevant was the association between hyponatremia and higher risk of death, up to 2.7 times more than in patients with normal sodium values. These data – he concludes – indicate how a quickly obtainable parameter, the level of sodium in the blood, can be an early indicator of severity in patients with Covid-19 therefore be of clinical utility to identify those at greatest risk of disease progression “.