Water Deprivation Test

This test is performed to confirm the diagnosis of Diabetes Insipidus in cases of polyuria, where blood and urine tests are unequivocal

It is not performed in newborns or young infants.

It is not performed if serum sodium is >150 meq/L

It should be performed only in hospital under medical supervision. 

Period of water restriction

1-2 years 6-8 hours

>2 years 8-12 hours

Test is terminated when the end points are achieved

  • Urine Sp Gravity >1.020 or urine osmolality >600 mOSm/Kg
  • Plasma Osmolality >300 or serum sodium >150 mEq/L
  • Loss of >4% body weight or signs of volume depletion 

Children who continue to have impaired urinary concentration despite reaching the end points for plasma osmolality and serum sodium are given 120-250 mcg of desmopressin melt preparation sublingually or Inj Vasopressin 2.5-5U/Kg subcutaneously. 

If urine osmolality increases to >800-Complete Central diabetes insipidus

If urine osmolality remains <600-Complete nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

If urine osmolality is between 600-800- it could be incomplete central or nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.


Serum osmolality285 to 295 mOsm/kg
Random urine osmolality300-900m mOsm/kg
Urine, after 12-14 hrs water deprivation> 850   mOsm/kg

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