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Gastrointestinal water and electrolytes. IV. The equilibration of deuterium oxide in gastrointestinal contents and the proportion of total body water in the gastrointestinal tract



Gastrointestinal water and electrolytes. IV. The equilibration of deuterium oxide in gastrointestinal contents and the proportion of total body water in the gastrointestinal tract



long Dashjour Clin Invest 36(2): 289-296



The volume of intraluminal gastrointestinal water was measured in rabbits and in human subjects studied post mortem. In rabbits this volume was referred to TBW as determined by D2O dilution. In man the intraluminal gut water was referred to predicted TBW values. Total body water averaged 75% of the body weight in rabbits; 12% of TBW was contained in the lumen of the "total" gastrointestinal tract, with 4% in the stomach, 2% in the small intestine and 6% in the large intestine. No significant difference between sexes was noted in either total body water or the volume of intraluminal gut water. Deuterium oxide equilibration was complete in large bowel water and nearly complete in small bowel water in 2 hours, Out required 4 hours for completion in stomach water. The significance of delayed D2O equilibration in stomach water compared with more distal segments of bowel was discussed with respect to the sites and mechanisms of D2O exchange across the gastrointestinal membranes. The gastrointestinal tract of man at post-mortem examination contained approximately 1.5% of the predicted TBW. The mean values were 0.4% for stomach, 0.7% for small bowel and 0.3% for proximal large bowel. These values cannot be considered to represent the volume of intraluminal gut water found in the normal living human subject. The amounts of intraluminal gut Na, K, chloride and water in the rabbit are summarized in tabular form.

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