A survey has been made of the amount of muscle water available to inulin, sucrose, and radioiodinated human serum albumin (RISA). The percentage spaces available to the three molecules are of the same order of magnitude, but the sucrose space > inulin space > albumin space. The kinetics of influx and efflux of RISA have been studied, and it appears that a small part of the albumin may be adsorbed in the extracellular phase. Nevertheless the albumin space would appear to give the best index of the extracellular volume.
The scatter in values found for the extracellular space by all methods is very great, ranging from 8 to 40 per cent and renders invalid the use of a mean value for the calculation of intracellular concentrations. The variation within paired muscles is less than between pairs, provided the tissue has undergone no volume change. Increase in total muscle volume when the muscle is placed in a hypotonic solution leads to a decrease in the size of the extracellular space.