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The sensitivity of the human thirst response to changes in plasma osmolality: a systematic review.

Hughes, F; Mythen, M; Montgomery, H; (2018) The sensitivity of the human thirst response to changes in plasma osmolality: a systematic review. [Review]. Perioperative Medicine , 7 , Article 1. 10.1186/s13741-017-0081-4. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dehydration is highly prevalent and is associated with adverse cardiovascular and renal events. Clinical assessment of dehydration lacks sensitivity. Perhaps a patient's thirst can provide an accurate guide to fluid therapy. This systematic review examines the sensitivity of thirst in responding to changes in plasma osmolality in participants of any age with no condition directly effecting their sense of thirst. METHODS: Medline and EMBASE were searched up to June 2017. Inclusion criteria were all studies reporting the plasma osmolality threshold for the sensation of thirst. RESULTS: A total of 12 trials were included that assessed thirst intensity on a visual analogue scale, as a function of plasma osmolality (pOsm), and employed linear regression to define the thirst threshold. This included 167 participants, both healthy controls and those with a range of pathologies, with a mean age of 41 (20-78) years.The value ±95% CI for the pOsm threshold for thirst sensation was found to be 285.23 ± 1.29 mOsm/kg. Above this threshold, thirst intensity as a function of pOsm had a mean ± SEM slope of 0.54 ± 0.07 cm/mOsm/kg. The mean ± 95% CI vasopressin release threshold was very similar to that of thirst, being 284.3 ± 0.71 mOsm/kg.Heterogeneity across studies can be accounted for by subtle variation in experimental protocol and data handling. CONCLUSIONS: The thresholds for thirst activation and vasopressin release lie in the middle of the normal range of plasma osmolality. Thirst increases linearly as pOsm rises. Thus, osmotically balanced fluid administered as per a patient's sensation of thirst should result in a plasma osmolality within the normal range. This work received no funding.

Type: Article
Title: The sensitivity of the human thirst response to changes in plasma osmolality: a systematic review.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13741-017-0081-4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13741-017-0081-4
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Dehydration, Osmoregulation, Thirst
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Internal Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042656
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