Control of brain volume during hyperosmolar and hypoosmolar conditions

Annu Rev Med. 1993;44:289-301. doi: 10.1146/


The brain is particularly vulnerable to disturbances of body fluid osmolality. Studies in animals indicate that brain adaptation to osmotic stresses is a very complex process involving transient changes in water content and sustained changes in electrolyte and organic osmolyte contents. Appreciation of the nature of the adaptation process enables a better understanding of the marked variations in neurological sequelae that characterize hyper- and hypoosmolar states and provides a basis for more rational therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hypernatremia / complications
  • Hypernatremia / metabolism
  • Hyponatremia / complications
  • Hyponatremia / metabolism
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / complications*
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / metabolism*