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Osmolality, Serum

The osmolality of the serum measures the number of osmotically active particles in the serum. The test is useful for assessing fluid and electrolyte balance as well as determining fluid requirements for the body. It provides valuable information on the patient's state of hydration, urine concentration, and antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secretion. Serum osmolarity is particularly used in the investigation of hyponatraemia. Hyponatraemia may be due to a loss of sodium in the urine or an increased amount of fluid in the bloodstream.

Medications affecting measurement: Salivary corticosteroids, diuretics.

Possible Interpretation of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Acidosis, advanced liver disease, excessive alcohol intake, azotemia, burns, convulsions, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, diet rich in proteins, hyperalgesia methanol overdose, shock, trauma, uremia
  • Decrease: Addison's disease, congestive heart failure, hepatic cirrhosis, ascites hepatic failure, lung cancer, fluid overload, postoperatively, inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) syndrome




Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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