[Skip to Navigation]
[Skip to Navigation Landing]
August 1959

Psychogenic Polydipsia Cured by Water Intoxication Following Vasopressin (Pitressin)

Author Affiliations

Petah Tiqva, Israel

From the Department of Medicine D, Beilinson Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;104(2):290-294. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270080116015

A form of polyuria in which the urine does not taste sweet was recognized by Thomas Willis in 1674. Diabetes insipidusspurius was separated as a distinct entity from diabetes mellitus-verus by Frank in 1794.1 Today it is evident, however, that the term diabetes insipidus has been used to indicate various polyurias of different etiology.2 Among these, the recognition of psychogenic polydipsia, described in 1905 by Ramond and Achard under the name of potomania, is of special importance, as this is a "polyuria" which may be radically cured.

While in true diabetes insipidus the polyuria is due to a defective secretion of antidiuretic hormone, in psychogenic polydipsia there is a disturbance in thirst control not caused by impairment of production or release of antidiuretic hormone.

In the present communication we describe a case of psychogenic polydipsia with unusual features, notably the sudden onset of polydipsia following a small dose