The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 126–131 | Cite as

Estimation of the state of hydration of the body by the amount of water available for the solution of sodium thiocyanate

  • Lathan A. Crandall
  • Milford X. Anderson


The theoretical considerations underlying a method for the determination of the state of hydration of the body by the intravenous injection of a foreign substance, and the determination of the concentration of that substance in the blood serum after a suitable interval, are discussed. Sodium thiocyanate appears to fulfill many of the requirements for such a substance. However, NaCNS is not uniformly distributed throughout all the body fluids. Therefore a method based upon its use must be empirical.

After the intravenous injection of NaCNS, the concentration of this substance in the blood serum becomes relatively constant in about two hours. It then decreases very slowly, and the NaCNS appears to be completely eliminated in about six days. The quantity of fluid available for the solution of NaCNS (termed available fluid) has been calculated in man, dog, rabbit, and horse from the concentration of NaCNS in the serum two to four hours after the intravenous injection of 15 to 20 mgm. per kilo. In man the amount of available fluid is more closely related to surface area than to body weight. In other animals such a relationship does not appear.

The method has been tested in experimentally dehydrated and superhydrated dogs, and in human beings with edema. The available fluid shows the expected changes within the limits of error. The method seems likely to be useful both experimentally and clinically in determining the state of hydration.


Intravenous Injection Pancreatic Juice Pernicious Anemia Duodenal Obstruction Total Water Content 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1934

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lathan A. Crandall
    • 1
  • Milford X. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Chicago

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