Study of electrolyte disturbances and renal parameters in acute gastroenteritis under 5 years of age in a tertiary care hospital of Bengaluru, India


  • Poornima Shankar Department of Pediatrics, KIMS Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Shajna Mahamud Department of Pediatrics, KIMS Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Anjum Aara C. A. Department of Pediatrics, KIMS Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India



Acute gastroenteritis, Diarrhea, Electrolytes, Hyponatremia, Hypokalemia, ORS


Background: Diarrhoea still continues to be a major cause of hospitalization and death in under fives. Electrolyte disturbances play an important role in the associated morbidity and mortality.  Acute renal failure is one of the important complications of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in children. Early intervention and proper fluid replacement may lessen this risk. This study was designed to find out the incidence of acute gastroenteritis and the status of associated electrolyte derangements and renal involvement.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted at KIMS, Bengaluru in which 117 children from the age of 1 month to 5 years with acute diarrhea were included based on a predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Demographic profile of the patients, details of diarrhea, clinical examination and accompanying degree of dehydration (defined as per WHO criteria) were recorded. Serum electrolytes along with renal parameters were investigated.

Results: Total 117 children with acute gastroenteritis were enrolled in the study as per the inclusion criteria which constituted 5% of total paediatric admissions. Children aged 1-12 months had the highest incidence of diarrhea (50%). Male to female ratio is 1.3:1. 65% had some dehydration, 19% no dehydration and 16% had severe dehydration. Isonatremia was seen in 58% followed by hyponatremia in 35% and hypernatremia in only 7%. 83% had isokalemia, hypokalemia in 12%, hyperkalemia in 5%. Levels of serum sodium and potassium decreased with the severity of dehydration. Serum urea and creatinine were significantly high in severe dehydration (p value 0.001). Out of 28 children who were given diluted ORS before admission, majority had hyponatremia (39%) and all of them who received concentrated ORS had hypernatremia.

Conclusions: Hyponatremic dehydration is the second most common type of dehydration next to isonatremic dehydration, but it is more common in children who took diluted ORS. Increased awareness regarding ORS preparation may help in preventing electrolyte imbalance in AGE. The levels of serum sodium and potassium decreased and urea and creatinine increased with severity of dehydration. Measurements of serum electrolytes and renal parameters early can help to predict the complications due to AGE and may help in the prevention of diarrhea related complications in children.

Author Biographies

Poornima Shankar, Department of Pediatrics, KIMS Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India


Department of Paediatrics

Shajna Mahamud, Department of Pediatrics, KIMS Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Junior Resident

Department of Paediatrics

Anjum Aara C. A., Department of Pediatrics, KIMS Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Junior Resident 

Department of Paediatrics


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