There has been much fundamental investigation upon hypothermia in recent years and most of the experiments have been concerned with methods of cooling, reduction of temperature to lower levels than previously obtained, and the immediate metabolic effects of the cooling and rewarming process. The majority of these concern themselves with patients subjected to general hypothermia. Its used in the treatment of cancer was first described by Smith and Fay in 1939 - 1940, when patients were maintained at rectal temperature levels of 29 - 32℃. for as long as five days. Dill and Forbes and Talbot reported on schizophrenic patients subjected to hypothermia up to 60 hours, and Khalil and reported lowering of the body temperature by cooling the stomach in 1954.
Since Wangensteen and associates earlest paper on physiological gastrectomy through gastric freezing, there has been considerable controversy with regard to the efficacy of the freezing in the reduction of gastric acidity.
The altoration in the electrolytes during hypothermia is another sphere of conjecture and there are differences in the experimental findings.
With such historical packground. experimental studies on the effect of gastric freezing on the electrolytes in the serum - K**+, Na**+, Cl**- were carried out on adult mongrel dogs.
Fifteen adult mongrel dogs of both sexes weighing from 12 kg. to 22 kg. were fasted for 12 hours before the gastric freezing and they were subjected to gastric freezing under general anesthesia with penthotal sodium (30 mg./kg.).
The gastric freezing was maintained for 50 minutes, and the electrolytes in serum (K**+, Na**+, Cl**-) were determined before the freezing, at the end of the freezing, 12 hours and 24 hours after the freezing, respectively.
The results are as follows and there were no significant changes in the serum levels of K**+, Na**+, Cl**-, before and after the gastric freezing.
1. Sodium levels in the serum were 140 ± 1.3 mEq./L. before gastric freezing, and 141.7 ± 1.4, 141.3 ± 1.3, 143.1 ± 1.5 in 50 minutes, 12 hours, and 24 hours after gastric freezing respectively.
2. Potassium levels in the serum were 4.2 ± 0.09 mEq./L. (mean ± S.E.) before gastric freezing, and 4.0 ± 0.15, 4.2 ± 0.1, 4.1 ± 0.16 in 50 minutes, 12 hours, and 24 hours after gastric freezing respectively.
3. Chloride levels in the serum were 106.1 ± 1.1 mEq./L. (mean ± S.E.) before gastric freezing and 106.3 ± 1.0, 106.1 ± 1.2, 106.0 ± 0.9 in 50 minutes, 12 hours, and 24 hours after gastric freezing respectively.