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Urea distribution in renal failure
  1. D. J. Blackmore,
  2. W. J. Elder,
  3. C. H. Bowden
  1. Research Department, R.A.F. Institute of Pathology and Tropical Medicine, Halton, Aylesbury, Bucks.
  2. Renal Unit, Princess Mary's R.A.F. Hospital, Halton, Aylesbury, Bucks.


    An assessment of intracellular urea removed during haemodialysis has been made from urea extraction and plasma urea estimations. An apparent wide variation in the movement of intracellular urea in patients with acute renal failure from obstetric and traumatic causes and with chronic renal failure is reported.

    A method for the estimation of red cell water urea is presented. In two patients with chronic renal failure the red cell urea level was much higher than would have been expected from the plasma urea level before dialysis. In two obstetric patients there was no such discrepancy.

    The conclusion is drawn that research should be directed to variations of intracellular metabolism in renal failure before a more rational approach can be made to its management.

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      BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Association of Clinical Pathologists