The syndrome of inappropriate secretion of arginine vasopressin (AVP) known as the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) is associated with a variety of malignant and nonmalignant diseases. Only 17 cases of SIADH have been reported in the literature in association with cancer isolated to the head and neck. A retrospective review of 1,436 patients with head and neck malignancy excluding skin cancer through The University of Iowa Tumor Registry revealed 60 patients with the diagnosis of either SIADH or hyposmolality. A chart review for each of these patients was then done to establish the diagnosis of SIADH through relevant laboratory values and by excluding other causes of hyposmolality and hyponatremia. In 43 of these patients (3%), SIADH was found to be associated only with the cancer of the head and neck. We conclude that the incidence of SIADH in patients with cancer of the head and neck is much higher than previously recognized. As elevated serum AVP levels may not be clinically apparent unless associated with excessive water ingestion, it is possible that an even higher percentage of patients may have increased serum AVP levels.
- head and neck