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Article
March 1951

EFFECTS OF A WATER LOAD ADMINISTERED TO PATIENTS DURING THE IMMEDIATE POSTOPERATIVE PERIODThe Hypotonic Syndrome

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK
From the Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota Medical School.

AMA Arch Surg. 1951;62(3):303-324. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1951.01250030309001
Abstract

THE MAINTENANCE of an exact physical environment within the body cells is effected by the compartmental distribution of available water between the cells per se and the interstitial spaces. This separation of body water into two distinct compartments (intracellular and extracellular) represents an evolutionary development whereby the extracellular compartment absorbs the brunt of the massive influx of water and metabolites and maintains a constancy of the cellular structure which deviates little during normal states.1

During periods of water stress, a well integrated series of mechanisms function to cope with the particular type of stress and maintain the fluid integrity of the cell so that vital processes are not compromised.2 Disease seriously disrupts water metabolism by producing deficits of body water (diarrhea),3 preventing loss of body water, thereby increasing the volume (anuria),4 or producing translocations in the intracorporeal distribution of water (malaria5; endocrine dysfunction).6 That

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