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July 1968

Cerebral Edema in Water Intoxication: I. Clinical and Chemical Observations

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1968;19(1):71-78. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00480010089007

EXCESSIVE systemic water intake ("water intoxication") produces cerebral swelling in anesthetized animals1-3 but little or no cerebral swelling has been reported in two previous studies on unanesthetized animals.4,5 The present project was undertaken to try to resolve these discrepant results and to determine if hypo-osmolar cerebral edema could be produced in unanesthetized animals. The results demonstrate that in unanesthetized rats intraperitoneal water injection produces chemically evident brain swelling, which is proportional to the amount of water injected but is less in brain than in other organs. This paper presents and discusses the clinical manifestations and chemical responses of the brain to water intoxication and the companion paper presents the microscopic findings.6

Methods  Male adult albino rats weighing 200 to 250 gm were divided into four groups. There was a minimum of 12 animals in each group. Control animals (group C) were injected with 5 units

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