Seizure from water intoxication following bowel preparation: a case report

Ting Hsuan Chiang, Jui Hsiang Tan, Chun Chao Chang, Kuan Chieh Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bowel preparation prior to colonoscopic examination is generally considered a safe process. Hyponatremia is a complication that has been reported in literature during bowel preparation. Individuals who develop severe symptomatic hyponatremia are often older and have comorbidities such as hypothyroidism, chronic kidney disease, or adrenal insufficiency. However, other mechanisms and circumstances can also lead to this potentially fatal complication. Case presentation: We present a unique case of a patient who developed seizure prior to colonoscopy due to acute hyponatremia without any well-known risk factors. With the subsequent diagnosis of water intoxication, the use of desmopressin was believed to have contributed to this serious complication. Conclusion: In addition to the use of certain well-documented medications and the presence of comorbidities that can lead to hyponatremia, clinicians should also be aware of the use of desmopressin as an important risk factor. Thorough history taking can guide individualized bowel preparation regimens to minimize the risk of undesired complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number402
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Bowel preparation
  • Case report
  • Colonoscopy
  • Desmopressin
  • Hyponatremia
  • Water intoxication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Seizure from water intoxication following bowel preparation: a case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this