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Article
April 30, 1960

SALT DEPLETION IN COLD WEATHER IN INFANTS WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS OF THE PANCREAS

JAMA. 1960;172(18):2014-2021. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020180024005
Abstract

Infants with cystic fibrosis of the pancreas are susceptible to salt depletion and dehydration even in cold weather. Five such infants, ranging in age from 4 weeks to 16 months, were admitted to Babies' Hospital over four years for treatment of hypoelectrolytemia and for study of the underlying cause. All had some vomiting not thought to be sufficient to explain the symptoms. One had slight diarrhea preceding admission; the other four had none. Repeated, small excessive losses of electrolytes in sweat and possibly in gastric secretion leading to negative salt balance over a period of time appeared to be factors in the genesis of the clinical picture. Cystic fibrosis of the pancreas should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of hypoelectrolytemia and dehydration in infancy. When this disease is suspected, salt supplements should be added to the diet, even in cold weather.

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