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Drugs for diabetes insipidus

Abstract

Diabetes insipidus results from lesions of the supraoptic nuclei or the hypothalamo-hypophysial tract which limit secretion of vasopressin. Less commonly there is a renal defect, inherited predominantly by males, in which the tubules are unresponsive to vasopressin. Symptoms are thirst, polydipsia and excretion of large volumes of dilute but otherwise normal urine. These complaints are often temporary after hypophysectomy or head injury because damaged supraoptic fibres recover to secrete vasopressin. Tests described by de Wardener1 must be applied to establish the diagnosis and distinguish between diabetes insipidus and compulsive water drinking.

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