In a previously healthy, 11-month-old infant acute gastroenteritis and dehydration developed following a minor operation. Oliguria was observed after 2 days complicated by hypernatremia, hypokalemia, elevated blood pressure and one generalized convulsion. Aldosterone excretion was increased considerably remaining elevated even after clinical improvement.
Hypernatremia complicating dehydration in infancy usually is thought to result from disproportionate loss of water and sodium. The role of aldosterone in this situation is not known. If hyperaldosteronism proves to be involved in causing and sustaining hypernatremia therapeutic use of aldosterone blocking hormones would be indicated.