Measurement of net whole-body transcapillary fluid transport and effective vascular compliance in humans

J Trauma. 1998 Dec;45(6):1062-8. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199812000-00015.


Background: Net whole-body transcapillary fluid transport (TFT) between the circulation and the interstitial (extravascular) space may be calculated as: IV - deltaPV - UV - IL, where IV=infused or ingested volume (when applicable), deltaPV = change in plasma volume, UV=urine volume, and IL=insensible loss.

Results: Infusion of 30 mL/kg isotonic saline over 25 minutes increased supine TFT from a basal capillary reabsorption of -106+/-24 mL/h (mean+/-SE) to a net filtration of 1,229+/-124 mL/h. One hour after infusion, reabsorption of -236+/-102 mL/h was seen, and control reabsorption levels returned by 3 hours. Four hours of 30 mm Hg lower body negative pressure (LBNP) elicited no net TFT, probably because of upper body reabsorptive compensation for lower body capillary filtration. When ingestion of 1 L of isotonic saline accompanied LBNP, filtration of 145+/-10 mL/h occurred. Reabsorption of extravascular fluid into the circulation always followed LBNP.

Conclusion: Application of this technique could aid understanding of physiologic conditions, experimental interventions, disease states, and therapies that cause or are influenced by fluid shifts between intravascular and interstitial compartments.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Fluid Compartments / physiology*
  • Capillaries / physiology*
  • Fluid Shifts / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lower Body Negative Pressure
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage*


  • Sodium Chloride