Compartment (pharmacokinetics)

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In pharmacokinetics, a compartment is a defined volume of body fluids. It is distinguished from anatomic compartments, which are bounded by fasciae. It is used in multi-compartment models.


There are five major body compartments:[1]

The transcellular compartment includes fluids in the pleural cavity or peritoneal cavity.

Comparison table[edit]

Compartment estimated % of body mass[2]
blood plasma 5
interstitial fluid 16
fat tissue 20 (see also body fat percentage)
intracellular fluid 35
transcellular fluid 2

Mnemonic: 60-40-20-15-5: % of TBW, Intracellular fluid, Extracellular fluid, interstitial fluid, plasma[clarification needed]


  1. ^ {{cite book |author=Rang, H. P. |title=Pharmacology |publisher=Churchill Livingstone |location=Edinburgh |year=2003 |pages= |isbn=0-443-07145-4 |oclc= |doi=}} Page 102
  2. ^ Unless else specified in table, then ref s: Rang, H. P. (2003). Pharmacology. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 0-443-07145-4.  Page 102