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Article
October 1948

POTASSIUM METABOLISM IN THE IMMEDIATE POSTOPERATIVE PERIOD

Author Affiliations

ANN ARBOR, MICH.
From the Department of Surgery, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Arch Surg. 1948;57(4):470-478. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1948.01240020477004
Abstract

MANY studies on the behavior of body fluids have led to an increasing interest in the subject of cellular electrolytes and the transfer of cations across the cell barrier. Losses of the main cellular cation, potassium, in "excess" of nitrogen have been reported in fasting,1 dehydration,2 diabetic coma3 and diarrhea.4 Furthermore, partial replacement of deficits of cell potassium by extracellular sodium have been effected in animals5 on low potassium-high sodium diets, in animals treated with desoxycorticosterone6 and in patients with alkalosis7 and infants with diarrhea.8 The administration of potassium as well as sodium has beenfound to have therapeutic value in some of these conditions.

In this paper data of potassium and nitrogen losses have been analyzed from a large number of infusion studies in control subjects and patients undergoing mild and traumatizing operations (herniorrhaphies and combined abdominoperineal resections for carcinoma of the

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