Total body water (TBW) and total body potassium (TBK) were studied in 40 ileostomists before (with conventional ileostomy) and one year after conversion to a continent ileostomy. Each patient acted as his own control. Total body water was determined by using an isotope dilution technique and TBK by counting the gamma radiation from the naturally present nuclide 40K in a whole body counter. Measured values of TBW and TBK were compared intraindividually (conventional versus continent ileostomy) and also with 'normal values' obtained from the same laboratory and based on a multiple regression analysis of data from 476 healthy controls. There was no evidence of water or potassium depletion in ileostomy patients, neither before nor after construction of the continent ileostomy.
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