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November 1960

Studies in Experimental Water Intoxication

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, the Neurology and Children's Medical Services and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Memorial Laboratories for the Study of Mental Retardation at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Arch Neurol. 1960;3(5):513-529. doi:10.1001/archneur.1960.00450050033005

Introduction  The manifestations of water intoxication in man are primarily neurological and consist principally of reduction in awareness and responsiveness, seizures, and increased intracranial pressure. The condition is being recognized more frequently in the clinic but is not often brought to the attention of the neurologist. Moreover, many aspects of its pathogenesis and therapy remain obscure. These facts have stimulated us to review the clinical aspects of this disorder in a recent publication1 and to report here on physiological and chemical observations in experimentally induced and treated water intoxication in rabbits.

Material and Methods  Young male rabbits of the New Zealand strain weighing 2.2-4.3 kg. were used. They were removed from their individual cages without special preparation at about 7:00 A.M., weighed and anesthetized with intravenous pentobarbital sodium, 30 mg. per kilogram. The ears, scalp, and right femoral areas were then depilated with electric clippers. A No. 6-F, multieyed