mannitol

Definition / meaning of mannitol

A naturally occurring alcohol found in fruits and vegetables and used as an osmotic diuretic. Mannitol is freely filtered by the glomerulus and poorly reabsorbed from the renal tubule, thereby causing an increase in osmolarity of the glomerular filtrate. An increase in osmolarity limits tubular reabsorption of water and inhibits the renal tubular reabsorption of sodium, chloride, and other solutes, thereby promoting diuresis. In addition, mannitol elevates blood plasma osmolarity, resulting in enhanced flow of water from tissues into interstitial fluid and plasma.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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