Osmolality, Body Fluid
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Osmolality is an index of the solute concentration. It is determined by the number and not by the nature of the particles in solution. Dissolved solutes change the physical properties of solutions; they increase the osmotic pressure and decrease freezing point.
Body fluids have the same osmolality as a corresponding serum specimen taken at the same time. "True body fluids" include: ascitic, cerebrospinal, hydrocele, edema, pericardial, pleural, spermatocele and synovial fluids. Secretions not in equilibrium with the extra-cellular fluids of the body include gastric juice, saliva and sweat.
Serum osmolality is normally between 275 mOsm/kg to 295 mOsm/kg; it increases with dehydration and decreases with overhydration. Urine osmolality reflects the ability of the kidney to maintain tonicity and water balance. The normal kidney can concentrate a urine to 800 mOsm/kg to 1,400 mOsm/kg, and with excess fluid intake, a minimal osmolality of 40 mOsm/kg to 80 mOsm/kg can be obtained.
To help determine the source and type of fluid
No normals are available.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
Avoid viscous fluids
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
No established reference values
Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
Clinic Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 20th edition. Edited by JB Henry. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Company, 2001