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March 1955

Renal Factors in Regulation of: Electrolye Balance

Author Affiliations

Chapel Hill, N. C.

From the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;95(3):365-369. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250090003001

The many processes that are involved in renal physiology are intimately concerned with, and exquisitely adjusted to, the homeostasis of the body fluids with respect to volume, tonicity, composition, and acid-base relationships. The kidney is able to subserve the interests of homeostasis only because it possesses mechanisms which are sensitive to stimuli arising within the organism as a whole. These stimuli, in turn, are either specific deviations from normal per se or some secondary expression of these abnormalities.

The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron, of which there are about 2,000,000 in two organs. This is portrayed in a schematic fashion in Figure 1. The glomerulus is composed of capillary loops through which water and the noncolloidal solutes diffuse and are filtered. The volume of the glomerular fluid, an ultrafiltrate of plasma, formed in a day by an average adult is approximately 180 liters. The volume of finally