Volume s1-30, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


This is a diagrammatic, clear presentation by a distinguished clinician of the fundamental distinction between water depletion and salt depletion. To quote the author in his introduction: “Pure water depletion occurs when water intake stops or is inadequate, and when there is no significant loss in secretions. The common causes are great weakness from any serious medical or surgical condition, coma of any causation, and dysphagia due to local conditions … Pure salt depletion arises when water and salt are lost in secretions—for example in vomiting or diarrhea—and water only is replaced.” The author takes up in sequence basic phyolsiogical considerations, osmotic phenomena, body water balance, causation and effect of pure water depletion, body salt balance, physiological functions of NaCl, renal regulation of extracellular Na and Cl, causation and effects of pure salt depletion, including those due to loss of osmotic pressure and disturbance due to acid-base balance, quantitative correlations, differential clinical diagnosis, prevention and treatment.


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