Fantus Test

Published on 23/06/2015 by admin

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Last modified 23/06/2015

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Chapter 13 Fantus Test

imageClinical Application

The Fantus test was first described by J.B. Fantus in 1936.4 It was originally used for the diagnosis of salt and water depletion and for the differential diagnosis of edema.5 However, this test has been found to be particularly useful for monitoring sodium intake in individuals with blood pressure disorders, including both hypotension and hypertension.

Since 1904 when Ambard and Beaujard6 first implicated salt as a major factor in the pathogenesis of hypertension, conflicting opinions and data have confused this issue. In 1944, Kempner7 published a classic article describing the effective treatment of essential hypertension using a salt-restricted “Rice Diet.” Many studies have subsequently demonstrated the effectiveness of salt-restricted diets in treating hypertension.812 Substantial evidence now exists that sodium alone does not raise blood pressure as had been previously thought, but rather that chloride also plays an important role in the elevation of blood pressure when consumed as sodium chloride, or common table salt.13,14 Sodium bicarbonate has not been found to have the same hypertensive effect as sodium chloride.

The Fantus test is an indirect test for sodium and actually measures chloride ion concentration. Considering that sodium chloride intake, rather than sodium ion alone, is a significant factor in blood volume expansion and blood pressure elevation, the Fantus test may be more clinically useful than direct tests for urinary sodium when managing hypertension or fluid retention.13,14

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