IN HIS classic study of the effects on mammals of the administration of excessive quantities of water, Rowntree1 stated that physiologists were apparently the first to notice the toxicity of fresh water for lower orders of life. In 1866 Bert2 ascribed the toxic effect of fresh water for the mullet to the difference in osmotic pressure between fresh water and sea water, the former causing the tissues to absorb water in excess. In 1904 Bullot3 proved the toxicity of distilled water for the fresh-water grammarus and also found that the addition of sodium chloride, sufficient to yield 0.000008-molar salt solution, was effective in overcoming the toxicity. In 1921 Miller and Williams4 studied the effect of excessive intake of water, clinically, on the blood pressure and nonprotein nitrogen in the blood of three patients with renal disease who were given 5 to 15 liters of water
BASKIN JL, KEITH HM, SCRIBNER BH. WATER METABOLISM IN WATER INTOXICATION: Review of Basic Concepts. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1952;83(5):618–627. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1952.02040090064006
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