Hippocrates recognized the value of the urine as an aid in the prognosis of many disorders, and his references to the characteristics of the urine are numerous.1,2 Homer Smith3 quotes Constantine Africanus, writing in Salerno in the eleventh century, as stating that the "urine is better than the pulse to discover the disease from which the patient suffers."
Oliguria is a common finding following trauma, major surgery, hemorrhage, and sepsis. The oliguria may result from structural damage to renal tubules,4-7 from impaired renal blood flow in the absence of structural damage to the kidney,8,9 or from antidiuresis.10,11
This report presents the urinary findings of patients during or following severe hemorrhage and of patients who were in "septic shock." These are compared with the findings in the urine of patients who were oliguric during and after major elective surgery to see if fundamental differences exist with