The basal metabolic rate, that is, the measure of the level of energy expenditure necessary to maintain basal metabolic processes, is the resultant of multitudinous and unceasing biochemical reactions; on these biochemical reactions depend the integrity of the body and the normal function of its cells. This so-called metabolic speed is innately controlled by the vegetative nervous system. Any constitutional aberration in basal metabolic behavior obviously provokes a disturbance in fundamental body phenomena. The clinical, the biologic and the social significance of such a disturbance will be considered in subsequent studies.
As a prelude to our major study of constitutional dyscrasias in children, it was necessary to determine the most efficient laboratory procedure by which to measure, record and compare rates of basal metabolism.
STANDARD METHODS OF DETERMINING METABOLIC SPEED
Three well known methods serve in the estimation of metabolic speed: namely, the assessment of