Gravimetric Method for the Dynamic Measurement of Urine Flow

Janet E. Steele, Stillianos Skarlatos, Paul H. Brand, Patricia J. Metting, Steven Loyal Britton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The rate of urine formation is a primary index of renal function, but no techniques are currently available to accurately measure low rates of urine flow on a continuous basis, such as are normally found in rats. We developed a gravimetric method for the dynamic measurement of urine flow in anesthetized rats. Catheters were inserted directly into the ureters close to the renal pelves, and a siphon was created to collect all of the urine formed as rapidly as it was produced. Urine flow was determined by measuring the weight of the urine using a direct-reading analytical balance interfaced to a computer. Basal urine flow was measured at 2-sec intervals for 30 to 60 min. The dynamic response of urine flow to a rapid decrease in arterial pressure produced by a bolus intravenous injection of acetylcholine (0.5 μg) was also measured. Intrinsic drift, evaporative losses, and the responsiveness of the system to several fixed pump flows in the low physiologic range were evaluated in vitro. The gravimetric method described was able to continuously measure basal urine flows that averaged 37.3 × 12.4 μl/min. Error due to drift and evaporation was negligible, totaling less than 1% of the measured urine flow. Acetylcholine-induced declines in arterial pressure were followed within 8 sec by a decline in urine flow. These data demonstrate that this new gravimetric method provides a simple, inexpensive, dynamic measurement of urine flow in the μl/min range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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