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October 21, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(17):1571. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800420045013

The concentration of the electrolytes in the various tissues of the body is maintained by a variety of intricate mechanisms, not all of which are well understood. The electrolytes of muscle, in particular, have attracted much attention; the extensive literature covering research studies made in this field was recently reviewed by Fenn.1 The important observations of numerous investigators which give evidence that under certain conditions muscles lose potassium on stimulation have made studies concerning this element of special interest. A recent investigation by Heppel,2 who used potassium deficient rations, is noteworthy because it adds to our knowledge of the interrelations of potassium and sodium in muscle. Restriction of rats to such an experimental diet results in a striking alteration in the potassium and sodium content of their muscular tissues. As compared to normal animals, those deprived of potassium show a decrease of almost 50 per cent in the