Case Reports in Endocrinology
Central diabetes insipidus is an uncommon feature of malaria. A previously healthy 72-year-old man presented with fever, rigors, and altered mental status after a recent trip to Liberia, a country known for endemic falciparum malaria. Investigations confirmed plasmodium falciparum parasitemia. Within one week after admission, the serum sodium rose to 166 mEq/L and the urine output increased to 7 liters/day. Other labs were notable for a high serum osmolality, low urine osmolality, and low urine specific gravity. The hypernatremia did not respond to hypotonic fluids. Diabetes insipidus was suspected and parenteral desmopressin was started with a prompt decrease in urinary output and improvement in mental status. Additional testing showed normal anterior pituitary hormones. The desmopressin was eventually tapered off with complete resolution of symptoms. Central diabetes insipidus occurred likely as a result of obstruction of the neurohypophyseal microvasculature. Other endocrinopathies that have been reported with malaria include hyponatremia, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, hyper-, and hypoglycemia, but none manifested in our patient. Though diabetes insipidus is a rare complication of malaria, clinicians need to be aware of this manifestation, as failure to do so may lead to fatality particularly if the patient is dehydrated.
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Premji, R., Roopnarinesingh, N., Cohen, J., & Sen, S. (2016). Cerebral malaria: an unusual case of central diabetes insipidus. Case Reports in Endocrinology, (). http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2047410