Six patients with jejunostomies and residual jejunal lengths of 105 to 250 cm took the same food and water each day for eight study days. In random order, three methods of salt replacement were tested, each over 48 hours, against a period without added salt. During the three test periods the patients took 120 mmol of sodium chloride daily, as salt in gelatine capsules, as an isotonic glucose electrolyte (280 mOsmol/kg; 30 kcal) solution, and as a glucose polymer (Maxijul) solution (280 mOsmol/kg; 200 kcal). The daily stomal output remained constant for each patient during the four test periods but varied between patients from 0.60 to 2.84 kg (daily intestinal fluid balance 0.74-2.61 kg). Without a salt supplement, three patients lost more sodium from the stoma than they took in by mouth (-25, -94, and -101 mmol/day) and the mean sodium balance for all six subjects was -16 mmol (range -101 to 79) daily. Extra salt was absorbed with each form of supplement (p less than 0.05); no patient with the glucose electrolyte solution (mean 96, range 0 to 226 mmol), but one patient with the glucose-polymer solution (mean 96, range -25 to 164 mmol) and two with the salt capsules (mean 66, range -8 to 145 mmol) were in negative balance. Two patients vomited with the salt capsules. There was only a small increase in energy absorption (mean 115 kcal) with the glucose polymer solution compared with the glucose electrolyte solution. A sipped glucose electrolyte solution seems to be the optimal mode of sodium replacement in patients with a high output jejunostomy.
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