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Metabolic Acidosis Bicarbonate

Bicarbonate Therapy In Severe Metabolic Acidosis

Bicarbonate Therapy In Severe Metabolic Acidosis

Abstract The utility of bicarbonate administration to patients with severe metabolic acidosis remains controversial. Chronic bicarbonate replacement is obviously indicated for patients who continue to lose bicarbonate in the ambulatory setting, particularly patients with renal tubular acidosis syndromes or diarrhea. In patients with acute lactic acidosis and ketoacidosis, lactate and ketone bodies can be converted back to bicarbonate if the clinical situation improves. For these patients, therapy must be individualized. In general, bicarbonate should be given at an arterial blood pH of ≤7.0. The amount given should be what is calculated to bring the pH up to 7.2. The urge to give bicarbonate to a patient with severe acidemia is apt to be all but irresistible. Intervention should be restrained, however, unless the clinical situation clearly suggests benefit. Here we discuss the pros and cons of bicarbonate therapy for patients with severe metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis is an acid-base disorder characterized by a primary consumption of body buffers including a fall in blood bicarbonate concentration. There are many causes (Table 1), and there are multiple mechanisms that minimize the fall in arterial pH. A patient with metabolic acidosis may have a normal or even high pH if there is another primary, contravening event that raises the bicarbonate concentration (vomiting) or lowers the arterial Pco2 (respiratory alkalosis). Metabolic acidosis differs from “acidemia” in that the latter refers solely to a fall in blood pH and not the process. A recent online survey by Kraut and Kurtz1 highlighted the uncertainty over when to give bicarbonate to patients with metabolic acidosis. They reported that nephrologists will prescribe therapy at a higher pH compared with Continue reading >>

Metabolic Acidosis Treatment & Management

Metabolic Acidosis Treatment & Management

Approach Considerations Treatment of acute metabolic acidosis by alkali therapy is usually indicated to raise and maintain the plasma pH to greater than 7.20. In the following two circumstances this is particularly important. When the serum pH is below 7.20, a continued fall in the serum HCO3- level may result in a significant drop in pH. This is especially true when the PCO2 is close to the lower limit of compensation, which in an otherwise healthy young individual is approximately 15 mm Hg. With increasing age and other complicating illnesses, the limit of compensation is likely to be less. A further small drop in HCO3- at this point thus is not matched by a corresponding fall in PaCO2, and rapid decompensation can occur. For example, in a patient with metabolic acidosis with a serum HCO3- level of 9 mEq/L and a maximally compensated PCO2 of 20 mm Hg, a drop in the serum HCO3- level to 7 mEq/L results in a change in pH from 7.28 to 7.16. A second situation in which HCO3- correction should be considered is in well-compensated metabolic acidosis with impending respiratory failure. As metabolic acidosis continues in some patients, the increased ventilatory drive to lower the PaCO2 may not be sustainable because of respiratory muscle fatigue. In this situation, a PaCO2 that starts to rise may change the plasma pH dramatically even without a significant further fall in HCO3-. For example, in a patient with metabolic acidosis with a serum HCO3- level of 15 and a compensated PaCO2 of 27 mm Hg, a rise in PaCO2 to 37 mm Hg results in a change in pH from 7.33 to 7.20. A further rise of the PaCO2 to 43 mm Hg drops the pH to 7.14. All of this would have occurred while the serum HCO3- level remained at 15 mEq/L. In lactic acidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis, the organic anion can r Continue reading >>

Metabolic Acidosis

Metabolic Acidosis

Metabolic acidosis is a condition that occurs when the body produces excessive quantities of acid or when the kidneys are not removing enough acid from the body. If unchecked, metabolic acidosis leads to acidemia, i.e., blood pH is low (less than 7.35) due to increased production of hydrogen ions by the body or the inability of the body to form bicarbonate (HCO3−) in the kidney. Its causes are diverse, and its consequences can be serious, including coma and death. Together with respiratory acidosis, it is one of the two general causes of acidemia. Terminology : Acidosis refers to a process that causes a low pH in blood and tissues. Acidemia refers specifically to a low pH in the blood. In most cases, acidosis occurs first for reasons explained below. Free hydrogen ions then diffuse into the blood, lowering the pH. Arterial blood gas analysis detects acidemia (pH lower than 7.35). When acidemia is present, acidosis is presumed. Signs and symptoms[edit] Symptoms are not specific, and diagnosis can be difficult unless the patient presents with clear indications for arterial blood gas sampling. Symptoms may include chest pain, palpitations, headache, altered mental status such as severe anxiety due to hypoxia, decreased visual acuity, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, altered appetite and weight gain, muscle weakness, bone pain, and joint pain. Those in metabolic acidosis may exhibit deep, rapid breathing called Kussmaul respirations which is classically associated with diabetic ketoacidosis. Rapid deep breaths increase the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled, thus lowering the serum carbon dioxide levels, resulting in some degree of compensation. Overcompensation via respiratory alkalosis to form an alkalemia does not occur. Extreme acidemia leads to neurological and cardia Continue reading >>

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