Some sources of error in the calculation of relative change in plasma volume

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Summary

The effects of alterations in the F-cell ratio (i.e., the ratio of the whole body haematocrit to the peripheral haematocrit) on calculations of relative (percentage) change in plasma volume have been considered. Errors introduced by failing to correct the measured haematocrit for an assumed value for the F-cell ratio are small, and are negligible compared with the random measurement errors. Errors introduced by a change in the value of the F-cell ratio from some control value to a new value during an experimental procedure (such as exercise or exposure to heat stress) are large, and could lead to gross misrepresentations of the direction and magnitude of any induced change in intravascular volume, and of solute concentration changes assumed to reflect only loss or gain of fluid by the intravascular space.