The effect of an abnormal renal circulation and a resulting hypertension on the distribution of water and electrolytes in skeletal muscle of dogs was as follows: (1) By analysis of the muscle the total content of sodium and chloride was found increased and the total potassium content decreased. (2) A redistribution of water occurred in the muscle involving a shift of water from the muscle cells to the extracellular phase. The calculated mean values per kilo of muscle were, extracellular phase (F) = 254, ± 54 gm.; intracellular water (H2O)C = 532, ± 47 gm., and total solids (S) = 214, ± 8 gm. This extracellular phase volume of 254 gm. represents an increase of 65 per cent over that found in normal dog muscle.
After subjecting the hypertensive dogs to large increases in total body water produced by the intravenous injection of normal isotonic salt solution, the total bulk of 1 kilo of muscle increased a mean average of 103 gm. of which one half was attributed to the extracellular phase and the other half to the swelling of the muscle cells.
Whether the changes found in this study are the result of the functional disturbances caused by the experimental renal abnormalities, or the hypertension, or a combination of both is uncertain at this time. The significance of the results is that there is quantitative evidence that a redistribution of water has occurred in skeletal muscle so that a real extracellular edema exists.