Volume depletion versus dehydration: How understanding the difference can guide therapy

Gautam Bhave, Eric G. Neilson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although often used interchangeably, dehydration and volume depletion are not synonyms. Dehydration refers to loss of total-body water, producing hypertonicity, which now is the preferred term in lieu of dehydration, whereas volume depletion refers to a deficit in extracellular fluid volume. In particular, hypertonicity implies intracellular volume contraction, whereas volume depletion implies blood volume contraction. Using a case of hyperglycemic hypertonic nonketosis as an example, we examine the changing composition of body fluid spaces to explore the distinction between dehydration and hypertonicity from volume depletion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Hypertonicity
  • dehydration
  • hyperglycemic hypertonic nonketosis (HHNK)
  • volume depletion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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