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Volume 17, Issue 2-3, Pages 603-611

Total body water and extracellular water measurements through in vivo dilution of D2O and bromide as tracers

Giuseppe Sergi,1 Roberta Bertani,2 Irene Calliari,3 Lucia Lupoli,1 Adriano Berton,2 Stefania Volpato,1 and Giuliano Enzi1

1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Division of Geriatrics, University of Padova, Via Vendramini 7, 35100 Padova, Italy
2Department of Chemical Processes of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Padova, and Institute of Molecular Sciences and Technologies, C.N.R. – Sezione di Padova, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Large interest is into the determination of body fluids because of changes in body water in a wide variety of physiological and pathological conditions. Here methods based on dilution of tracers, are reported, for the extracellular water (ECW) and total body water (TBW) determinations on the same sample. As for ECW, bromide is used as tracer and its concentration is determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry; while as for TBW, D2O is used as tracer and HOD is determined by FT IR. Both methods represent significant improvements with respect the procedures described in the literature in terms of availability, reproducibility and accuracy.