A study of serum electrolyte imbalances and its impact in children of 4 months to 5 years of age group presenting with acute gastroenteritis


  • Dibin Joseph Department of Paediatrics, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India
  • Sunilbala Keithellakpam Department of Paediatrics, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India




Acute gastroenteritis, Electrolyte disturbances


Background: Fluid and electrolyte derangement are the immediate causes that increases the mortality in diarrhea. The present study was carried out among children of 4 months to 5 years with dehydration due to acute diarrhea to determine the serum electrolyte profile.

Methods: A hospital based cross   sectional study was carried out in department of pediatrics, RIMS during a period of two years (sept 2019-Aug 2021).

Results: A total of 195 patients of 4 months to 5 years of age group presented with acute gastroenteritis were included in the study, among them hyponatreamia  was the most frequent electrolyte abnormality noted (37.4%). Most (65.5%) of hyponatremic patients in our study took dilute ORS whereas majority (64.2%) of patients who took appropriate ORS had normal serum sodium levels. Frequency and duration of diarrhea, dehydration status and inappropriate ORS were significant risk factors for serum electrolyte and acid base imbalances.

Conclusions: Electrolyte abnormalities were significantly associated with frequency and duration of diarrhea, dehydration status and inappropriate ORS administration. Hence, timely recognition and management of electrolyte abnormalities and appropriate ORS administration improves outcome in acute gastroenteritis related dehydration in children.


United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). Diarrhea remains a leading killer of young children, despite the availability of a simple treatment solution. Available88at: https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-health/diarrhoeal-disease/. Accessed on Nov 6, 2022.

Larry A. Electrolyte and acid base disorders. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, Schor NF, Behrman RE, editors. Nelson text book of pediatrics. 20th international ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier. 2016;1854-2710.

Reid A, Jones G, Isles C. Hypokalaemia: common things occur commonly-a retrospective survey. JRSM Short Rep. 2012;3(11):80.

Shah GS, Das BK, Singh MK, Bhandari GP. Acid base and electrolyte disturbances in diarrhea. Kathmandu Univ Med. 2007;5(1):60-2.

Ahmed I and Webb JK. Childhood diarrhea in south India with particular reference to fluid and electrolyte disturbance. Ind J of Child Heal. 1963;12(2):85-91.

Dastidar RG, Konar NA. Study of electrolyte disturbances in a child presenting with acute gastroenteritis, with special emphasis on hyponatremic dehydration: a hospital based cross sectional study. Pediatr Ther. 2017;7(2):1-4.

Naeem S, Mahmood N, Shahid M, Hussain W, Bhatti T. Pattern of electrolyte imbalance in childhood acute diarrhea. Pak Paediatr J. 2015;39(1):98-105.

Onyiriuka AN, Iheagwara EC. Serum electrolyte profiles of under-five Nigerian children admitted for severe dehydration due to acute diarrhea. Niger J Heal Sci. 2015;15(1):14-7.

Aamir M, Shahid M, Mukhtar F. Association of serum electrolyte derangements with severity of dehydration in children with acute diarrhea. Med Monthly Forum. 2017:28(5):126-9.

Pizarro D, Posada G, Villavicencio N, Mohs E, Levine MM. Oral rehydration in hypernatremic and hyponatremic diarrheal dehydration: treatment with oral glucose/electrolyte solution. Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(8):730-4.

Kocaoglu C, Solak ES, Kilicarslan C, Arslan S. Fluid management in children with diarrhea related hyponatremic and hypernatremic dehydration: a retrospective study of 83 children. Med Glas (Zenica). 2014;11(1):87-93.

Shankar P, Mahamud S. Study of electrolyte disturbances and renal parameters in acute gastroenteritis under 5 years of age in a tertiary care hospital of Bengaluru, India. Int J Contemp Paediatr. 2020;7(9):1910-17.






Original Research Articles