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May 19, 1928


JAMA. 1928;90(20):1630. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02690470036016

In 1919, Weed and McKibben1 of the Johns Hopkins Medical School published a striking report of the significant demonstration that it is possible to reduce the cerebrospinal fluid pressure and diminish the bulk of the brain by injecting a hypertonic solution into the blood stream. Conversely, they found that hypotonic solutions had the opposite effect: a rise of cerebrospinal fluid pressure and an increase of brain bulk. These observations have repeatedly been verified. The original investigators realized that the ease and rapidity of these changes in brain volume are of considerable interest in view of the old idea of the incompressible character of the brain and its relation to the conception of a constant vascular volume within the cranial cavity. They concluded that the changes in size are independent of the volume of the fluid injected and are probably due to fundamental osmotic effects of the hypotonic and hypertonic

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