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Validity of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision discharge diagnosis codes for hyponatraemia in the Danish National Registry of Patients
  1. Louise Holland-Bill1,
  2. Christian Fynbo Christiansen1,
  3. Sinna Pilgaard Ulrichsen1,
  4. Troels Ring2,
  5. Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen3,
  6. Henrik Toft Sørensen1
  1. 1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Nephrology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Louise Holland-Bill; louise.bill{at}


Objective To examine the validity of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) codes for hyponatraemia in the nationwide population-based Danish National Registry of Patients (DNRP) among inpatients of all ages.

Design Population-based validation study.

Setting All somatic hospitals in the North and Central Denmark Regions from 2006 through 2011.

Participants: Patients of all ages admitted to hospital (n=819 701 individual patients) during the study period. The patient could be included in the study more than once, and our study did not restrict to patients with serum sodium measurements (total of n=2 186 642 hospitalisations).

Main outcome measure We validated ICD-10 discharge diagnoses of hyponatraemia recorded in the DNRP, using serum sodium measurements obtained from the laboratory information systems (LABKA) research database as the gold standard. One sodium value <135 mmol/L measured at any time during hospitalisation confirmed the diagnosis. We estimated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for ICD-10 codes for hyponatraemia overall and for cut-off points for increasing hyponatraemia severity.

Result An ICD-10 code for hyponatraemia was recorded in the DNRP in 5850 of the 2 186 642 hospitalisations identified. According to laboratory measurements, however, hyponatraemia was present in 306 418 (14%) hospitalisations. Sensitivity of hyponatraemia diagnoses was 1.8% (95% CI 1.7% to 1.8%). For sodium values <115 mmol/L, sensitivity was 34.3% (95% CI 32.6% to 35.9%). The overall PPV was 92.5% (95% CI 91.8% to 93.1%) and decreased with increasing hyponatraemia severity. Specificity and NPV were high for all cut-off points (≥99.8% and ≥86.2%, respectively). Patients with hyponatraemia without a corresponding ICD-10 discharge diagnosis were younger and had higher Charlson Comorbidity Index scores than patients with hyponatraemia with a hyponatraemia code in the DNRP.

Conclusions ICD-10 codes for hyponatraemia in the DNRP have high specificity but very low sensitivity. Laboratory test results, not discharge diagnoses, should be used to ascertain hyponatraemia.

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