We tried to utilize the information concerning the relationship between the two types of offbalances and the changes in potassium distribution between cells and metazoic fluids, in order to recognize the existence and nature of these offbalances. This led us to compare the amount of potassium present in red cells and in serum as an indication of this distribution between cells and metazoic fluids. From a practical point of view, we utilized the total blood instead of the separated red cells. (Chapter 4, Note 5) From the relationship between the two values, we could interpret the nature of the occurring changes as corresponding either to a quantitative abnormality excess of deficiency—or to a qualitative abnormality due to an offbalance A or D. Fig. 127 shows this correlation. With the values of serum potassium around 4.5 mEq and of total blood around 38 mEq, the condition is considered normal from the point of view of the potassium intervention. Low values in serum and total blood correspond to a quantitative deficiency, while high values for both, a quantitative excess. High serum with low total blood potassium correspond to the offbalance type D, while low serum potassium and high values in total blood to the off balance type A.

In chronic conditions, such offbalances are seen to persist over long periods of time. Fig. 214 shows an example of a typical D offbalance, with the serum potassium high and the total blood potassium low. Fig. 215 shows an offbalance type A, with low serum potassium and relatively high total blood potassium. Fig. 216 shows an example of lack of potassium, with low values in both serum and total blood.

Potassium And Lipids

The correlation between potassium distribution and the offbalances A and D, has linked this information to the lipids and lipoids. The administration of agents of one or the other of the two groups, positive or negative, has produced opposite changes in the distribution of potassium total blood and serum. These experiments were made in rabbits in collaboration with Ismail Eroglu, Patricia McLachlan and Lee Weston. Administered in large amounts, all the positive lipoids and especially heptanol were seen able to reduce potassium in blood and increase it in the red cells. The negative lipoids have an opposite effect. Administered in reduced amounts, big differences could be see between the agents of the same group, many having no influence on the potassium and only few showing manifest effects. Among the negative lipoids, the most active agents have appeared to be heptyldisenide, sulfur and selenium tetra hydronaphthalene and epichlorohydrin.