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Respiratory Alkalosis And Acidosis

Respiratory Alkalosis

Respiratory Alkalosis

Respiratory alkalosis is a medical condition in which increased respiration elevates the blood pH beyond the normal range (7.35–7.45) with a concurrent reduction in arterial levels of carbon dioxide.[1][3] This condition is one of the four basic categories of disruption of acid–base homeostasis.[medical citation needed] Signs and symptoms[edit] Signs and symptoms of respiratory alkalosis are as follows:[4] Palpitation Tetany Convulsion Sweating Causes[edit] Respiratory alkalosis may be produced as a result of the following causes: Stress[1] Pulmonary disorder[2] Thermal insult[5] High altitude areas[6] Salicylate poisoning (aspirin overdose) [6] Fever[1] Hyperventilation (due to heart disorder or other, including improper mechanical ventilation)[1][7] Vocal cord paralysis (compensation for loss of vocal volume results in over-breathing/breathlessness).[8] Liver disease[6] Mechanism[edit] Carbonic-acid The mechanism of respiratory alkalosis generally occurs when some stimulus makes a person hyperventilate. The increased breathing produces increased alveolar respiration, expelling CO2 from the circulation. This alters the dynamic chemical equilibrium of carbon dioxide in the circulatory system. Circulating hydrogen ions and bicarbonate are shifted through the carbonic acid (H2CO3) intermediate to make more CO2 via the enzyme carbonic anhydrase according to the following reaction: This causes decreased circulating hydrogen ion concentration, and increased pH (alkalosis).[9][10] Diagnosis[edit] The diagnosis of respiratory alkalosis is done via test that measure the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels (in the blood), chest x-ray and a pulmonary function test of the individual.[1] The Davenport diagram allows clinicians or investigators to outline blood bicarbonate concentr Continue reading >>

Abg: Respiratory Acidosis/metabolic Alkalosis

Abg: Respiratory Acidosis/metabolic Alkalosis

Home / ABA Keyword Categories / A / ABG: Respiratory acidosis/metabolic alkalosis ABG: Respiratory acidosis/metabolic alkalosis A combined respiratory acidosis / metabolic alkalosis will result in elevated PaCO2 and serum bicarbonate. Which process is the primary disorder (e.g. primary respiratory acidosis with metabolic compensation versus primary metabolic alkalosis with respiratory compensation) is dependent on the pH in an acidotic patient, the acidosis is primary (and the alkalosis is compensatory) and vice versa. Compensation behaves in accordance with the following rules: Metabolic Acidosis: As bicarbonate goes from 10 to 5, pCO2 will bottom out at 15. pCO2 = 1.5 x [HCO3-] + 8 (or pCO2 = 1.25 x [HCO3-]) Metabolic Alkalosis: compensation here is less because CO2 is driving force for respiration. pCO2 = 0.7 x [HCO3-] + 21 (or pCO2 = 0.75 x [HCO3-]) Acutely: [HCO3-] = 0.1 x pCO2 or pH = 0.008 x pCO2 Chronically: [HCO3-] = 0.4 x pCO2 or pH = 0.003 x pCO2 Respiratory Alkalosis: Metabolic compensation will automatically be retention of chloride (i.e., hyperchloremic, usually referred to as loss of bicarb although it is the strong ion difference that matters). If you have an anion gap, then youve automatically got a little bit of an acidosis on top of the compensation (because the compensation should be a NON-gap acidotic process. Acutely: [HCO3-] = 0.2 x pCO2 (or pH = 0.008 x pCO2) Chronically: [HCO3-] = 0.4 x pCO2 (or pH = 0.017 x pCO2) Continue reading >>

Effects Of Respiratory Alkalosis And Acidosis On Myocardial Blood Flow And Metabolism In Patients With Coronary Artery Disease | Anesthesiology | Asa Publications

Effects Of Respiratory Alkalosis And Acidosis On Myocardial Blood Flow And Metabolism In Patients With Coronary Artery Disease | Anesthesiology | Asa Publications

Effects of Respiratory Alkalosis and Acidosis on Myocardial Blood Flow and Metabolism in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease (Weyland, Rieke) Associate Professor of Anesthesiology. (Stephan, Sonntag) Professor of Anesthesiology. Effects of Respiratory Alkalosis and Acidosis on Myocardial Blood Flow and Metabolism in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease Anesthesiology 10 1998, Vol.89, 831-837. doi: Anesthesiology 10 1998, Vol.89, 831-837. doi: Stephan Kazmaier, Andreas Weyland, Wolfgang Buhre, Heidrun Stephan, Horst Rieke, Klaus Filoda, Hans Sonntag; Effects of Respiratory Alkalosis and Acidosis on Myocardial Blood Flow and Metabolism in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease . Anesthesiology 1998;89(4):831-837. 2018 American Society of Anesthesiologists Effects of Respiratory Alkalosis and Acidosis on Myocardial Blood Flow and Metabolism in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease You will receive an email whenever this article is corrected, updated, or cited in the literature. You can manage this and all other alerts in My Account ALTHOUGH unintended or deliberate variation of the arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure (PaCO2) is common in anesthetic practice, little is known about the myocardial consequences of respiratory alkalosis and acidosis in humans. Previous experimental studies have shown inconsistent results with respect to the effects of PaCO2on myocardial blood flow (MBF), myocardial metabolism, and global hemodynamics. This may have been caused in part by differences in the experimental design of the investigations. [1-6] Although most studies have shown that hypercapnia augments MBF above metabolic demands, [3,7-9] the results with respect to the effects of hypocapnia vary. [3,4] Furthermore, it seems questionable to transfer conclusions from experiment Continue reading >>

Ph Of The Blood - 6 - Causes Of Abnormality - M J Bookallil

Ph Of The Blood - 6 - Causes Of Abnormality - M J Bookallil

A rise in concentration of any of these acids in the blood causes a fall in the pH of the blood. Loss of acid from the blood (e.g. into gastric juice) causes a rise in the pH. Only HCl and H2CO3 can be lost from the blood in appreciable quantities. The bases which can cause changes in blood pH are: Administration of base by mouth or parenterally may cause blood pH to rise if rate of excretion does not match rate of administration. Loss of alkaline fluid from bowel (diarrhoea, intestinal obstruction or intestinal fistulae), or urine (after acetoazolamide) will cause blood pH to fall. 6.3 CLINICAL CLASSIFICATION OF CAUSES OF CHANGES IN BLOOD pH Clinical states of pH disturbence (acid-base inbalance) can conveniently be divided into two groups, i.e. (a)respiratory and (b)metabolic or non-respiratory. The reasons for this division into respiratory and non-respiratory are that: i) the compensatory mechanisms ( Section 3.5.1 ) and treatments ( Section 7 ) of the two types are different.; ii) the recognition of non-respiratory disturbances is masked by compensatory alterations in PCO2 and the recognition of changes in pH caused by PCO2 changes are masked by renal compensation. 6.3.1 RESPIRATORY ACIDOSIS. This is synonymous with CO2 retention and is usually a sign of hypoventilation. Compensation is renal. There is renal loss HCl in the form of buffer or as NH4Cl. During recvovery chloride has to be supplied and retained. 6.3.1.2 Inhalational of CO2 This is another cause of respiratory acidosis, but it is only likely to occur under situations of re-breathing, e.g. under anaesthesia or during resuscitation with a Water's cannister circuit without the cannister, i.e. ward resuscitators or Type C anaesthetic systems. ( Mapleson, 1954 ). 6.3.1.3 Increased production of CO2. This v Continue reading >>

Respiratory Alkalosis

Respiratory Alkalosis

What is respiratory alkalosis? Respiratory alkalosis occurs when the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood are not balanced. Your body needs oxygen to function properly. When you inhale, you introduce oxygen into the lungs. When you exhale, you release carbon dioxide, which is a waste product. Normally, the respiratory system keeps these two gases in balance. Respiratory alkalosis occurs when you breathe too fast or too deep and carbon dioxide levels drop too low. This causes the pH of the blood to rise and become too alkaline. When the blood becomes too acidic, respiratory acidosis occurs. Hyperventilation is typically the underlying cause of respiratory alkalosis. Hyperventilation is also known as overbreathing. Someone who is hyperventilating breathes very deeply or rapidly. Causes of hyperventilation Panic attacks and anxiety are the most common causes of hyperventilation. However, they’re not the only possible causes. Others include: pain drug use fever infection If you’re experiencing hyperventilation (especially for the first time), don’t assume you know the cause. Make an appointment with your doctor. Overbreathing is a sign that respiratory alkalosis is likely to develop. However, low carbon dioxide levels in the blood also have a number of physical effects, including: dizziness bloating feeling lightheaded numbness or muscle spasms in the hands and feet discomfort in the chest area confusion dry mouth tingling in the arms feeling short of breath The treatment for respiratory alkalosis depends on the underlying cause. Panic and anxiety-related causes Treating the condition is a matter of raising carbon dioxide levels in the blood. The following strategies and tips are useful for respiratory alkalosis caused by overbreathing due to panic and anx Continue reading >>

Response To Disturbances

Response To Disturbances

The body tries to minimize pH changes and responds to acid-base disturbances with body buffers, compensatory responses by the lungs and kidney (to metabolic and respiratory disturbances, respectively) and by the kidney correcting metabolic disturbances. Body buffers: There are intracellular and extracellular buffers for primary respiratory and metabolic acid-base disturbances. Intracellular buffers include hemoglobin in erythrocytes and phosphates in all cells. Extracellular buffers are carbonate (HCO3–) and non-carbonate (e.g. protein, bone) buffers. These immediately buffer the rise or fall in H+. Compensation: This involves responses by the respiratory tract and kidney to primary metabolic and respiratory acid-base disturbances, respectively. Compensation opposes the primary disturbance, although the laboratory changes in the compensatory response parallel those in the primary response. This concept is illustrated in the summary below. Respiratory compensation for a primary metabolic disturbance: Alterations in alveolar ventilation occurs in response to primary metabolic acid-base disturbances. This begins within minutes to hours of an acute primary metabolic disturbance. Note that complete compensation via this mechanism may take up to 24 hours. Renal compensation for a primary respiratory disturbance: Here, the kidney alters excretion of acid (which influences bases as well) in response to primary respiratory disturbances. This begins within hours of an acute respiratory disturbance, but take several days (3-5 days) to take full effect. Correction of acid-base changes: Correction of a primary respiratory acid-base abnormality usually requires medical or surgical intervention of the primary problem causing the acid-base disturbance, e.g. surgical relief of a colla Continue reading >>

Acid-base Disorders - Endocrine And Metabolic Disorders - Merck Manuals Professional Edition

Acid-base Disorders - Endocrine And Metabolic Disorders - Merck Manuals Professional Edition

(Video) Overview of Acid-Base Maps and Compensatory Mechanisms By James L. Lewis, III, MD, Attending Physician, Brookwood Baptist Health and Saint Vincents Ascension Health, Birmingham Acid-base disorders are pathologic changes in carbon dioxide partial pressure (Pco2) or serum bicarbonate (HCO3) that typically produce abnormal arterial pH values. Acidosis refers to physiologic processes that cause acid accumulation or alkali loss. Alkalosis refers to physiologic processes that cause alkali accumulation or acid loss. Actual changes in pH depend on the degree of physiologic compensation and whether multiple processes are present. Primary acid-base disturbances are defined as metabolic or respiratory based on clinical context and whether the primary change in pH is due to an alteration in serum HCO3 or in Pco2. Metabolic acidosis is serum HCO3< 24 mEq/L. Causes are Metabolic alkalosis is serum HCO3> 24 mEq/L. Causes are Respiratory acidosis is Pco2> 40 mm Hg (hypercapnia). Cause is Decrease in minute ventilation (hypoventilation) Respiratory alkalosis is Pco2< 40 mm Hg (hypocapnia). Cause is Increase in minute ventilation (hyperventilation) Compensatory mechanisms begin to correct the pH (see Table: Primary Changes and Compensations in Simple Acid-Base Disorders ) whenever an acid-base disorder is present. Compensation cannot return pH completely to normal and never overshoots. A simple acid-base disorder is a single acid-base disturbance with its accompanying compensatory response. Mixed acid-base disorders comprise 2 primary disturbances. Compensatory mechanisms for acid-base disturbances cannot return pH completely to normal and never overshoot. Primary Changes and Compensations in Simple Acid-Base Disorders 1.2 mm Hg decrease in Pco2 for every 1 mmol/L decrease in HC Continue reading >>

Acid-base Disorders

Acid-base Disorders

Content currently under development Acid-base disorders are a group of conditions characterized by changes in the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) or bicarbonate (HCO3-), which lead to changes in the arterial blood pH. These conditions can be categorized as acidoses or alkaloses and have a respiratory or metabolic origin, depending on the cause of the imbalance. Diagnosis is made by arterial blood gas (ABG) interpretation. In the setting of metabolic acidosis, calculation of the anion gap is an important resource to narrow down the possible causes and reach a precise diagnosis. Treatment is based on identifying the underlying cause. Continue reading >>

The Effects Of Respiratory Alkalosis And Acidosis On Net Bicarbonate Flux Along The Rat Loop Of Henle In Vivo.

The Effects Of Respiratory Alkalosis And Acidosis On Net Bicarbonate Flux Along The Rat Loop Of Henle In Vivo.

Am J Physiol. 1997 Nov;273(5 Pt 2):F698-705. The effects of respiratory alkalosis and acidosis on net bicarbonate flux along the rat loop of Henle in vivo. Department of Medicine, University College London Medical School, United Kingdom. We have studied the effects of acute respiratory alkalosis (ARALK, hyperventilation) and acidosis (ARA, 8% CO2), chronic respiratory acidosis (CRA; 10% CO2 for 7-10 days), and subsequent recovery from CRA breathing air on loop of Henle (LOH) net bicarbonate flux (JHCO3) by in vivo tubule microperfusion in anesthetized rats. In ARALK blood, pH increased to 7.6, and blood bicarbonate concentration ([HCO3-]) decreased from 29 to 22 mM. Fractional urinary bicarbonate excretion (FEHCO3) increased threefold, but LOH JHCO3 was unchanged. In ARA, blood pH fell to 7.2, and blood [HCO3-] rose from 28 to 34 mM; FEHCO3 was reduced to < 0.1%, but LOH JHCO3 was unaltered. In CRA, blood pH fell to 7.2, and blood [HCO3-] increased to > 50 mM, whereas FEHCO3 decreased to < 0.1%. JHCO3 was reduced by approximately 30%. Bicarbonaturia occurred when CRA rats breathed air, yet LOH JHCO3 increased (by 30%) to normal. These results suggest that LOH JHCO3 is affected by the blood-to-tubule lumen [HCO3-] gradient and HCO3- backflux. When the usual perfusing solution at 20 nl/min was made HCO3- free, mean JHCO3 was -34.5 +/- 4.4 pmol/min compared with 210 +/- 28.1 pmol/min plus HCO3-. When a low-NaCl perfusate (to minimize net fluid absorption) containing mannitol and acetazolamide (2 x 10(-4) M, to abolish H(+)-dependent JHCO3) was used, JHCO3 was -112.8 +/- 5.6 pmol/min. Comparable values for JHCO3 at 10 nl/min were -35.9 +/- 5.8 and -72.5 +/- 8.8 pmol/min, respectively. These data indicate significant backflux of HCO3-along the LOH, which depends on the bloo Continue reading >>

Respiratory Alkalosis, Hypocapnia

Respiratory Alkalosis, Hypocapnia

Relative hyperventilation tending to make blood more alkaline: increased pH, decreased hydrogen ion concentrations Can be physiological: pregnancy and high altitude Pathological associated with relative hyperventilation Often no specific manifestations. Hyperventilation may be apparent. If pathological, treat underlying condition (eg, asthma or cardiac failure). In ventilated patients, consider decreasing ventilation. Treat ABC: airway, breathing, circulation. In symptomatic psychogenic hyperventilation: use rebreathing (paper bag). In conscious patients acute respiratory alkalosis can cause neurologic symptoms: dizziness, confusion, syncope, seizures, paresthesias (particularly perioral). Symptoms and signs may be related to underlying conditions such as ischemic or pleuritic chest pain and unrelated to the change in pH. Patients with psychogenic hyperventilation may have symptoms and signs related to severe anxiety. Arterial blood gas: pH > 7.45, pCO2 < 35 mmHg, Bicarbonate > 24 mmol/L, standard base-excess < 0 mmol/L. Check blood gas results for compensation or second disorder. Metabolic compensation will never be complete (pH < 7.40), and will take hours. Therefore, early respiratory alkalosis may appear uncompensated. Compensation: Metabolic side compensates for respiratory acidosis by decreasing renal chloride excretion, leading to decreased strong-ion difference and decreased bicarbonate. Measured by bicarbonate or standard base excess (SBE). In acute respiratory alkalosis : Expected SBE = 0 mmol/L, Expected bicarbonate mmol/L = 24+ 0.2 x (PCO2 - 40) For both bicarbonate and base-excess this estimate is about +/- 2 mmol/L. Underlying change will be renal chloride excretion leading to decreased strong-ion difference. In chronic respiratory alkalosis there is adap Continue reading >>

Acid Base Disorders

Acid Base Disorders

Arterial blood gas analysis is used to determine the adequacy of oxygenation and ventilation, assess respiratory function and determine the acid–base balance. These data provide information regarding potential primary and compensatory processes that affect the body’s acid–base buffering system. Interpret the ABGs in a stepwise manner: Determine the adequacy of oxygenation (PaO2) Normal range: 80–100 mmHg (10.6–13.3 kPa) Determine pH status Normal pH range: 7.35–7.45 (H+ 35–45 nmol/L) pH <7.35: Acidosis is an abnormal process that increases the serum hydrogen ion concentration, lowers the pH and results in acidaemia. pH >7.45: Alkalosis is an abnormal process that decreases the hydrogen ion concentration and results in alkalaemia. Determine the respiratory component (PaCO2) Primary respiratory acidosis (hypoventilation) if pH <7.35 and HCO3– normal. Normal range: PaCO2 35–45 mmHg (4.7–6.0 kPa) PaCO2 >45 mmHg (> 6.0 kPa): Respiratory compensation for metabolic alkalosis if pH >7.45 and HCO3– (increased). PaCO2 <35 mmHg (4.7 kPa): Primary respiratory alkalosis (hyperventilation) if pH >7.45 and HCO3– normal. Respiratory compensation for metabolic acidosis if pH <7.35 and HCO3– (decreased). Determine the metabolic component (HCO3–) Normal HCO3– range 22–26 mmol/L HCO3 <22 mmol/L: Primary metabolic acidosis if pH <7.35. Renal compensation for respiratory alkalosis if pH >7.45. HCO3 >26 mmol/L: Primary metabolic alkalosis if pH >7.45. Renal compensation for respiratory acidosis if pH <7.35. Additional definitions Osmolar Gap Use: Screening test for detecting abnormal low MW solutes (e.g. ethanol, methanol & ethylene glycol [Reference]) An elevated osmolar gap (>10) provides indirect evidence for the presence of an abnormal solute which is prese Continue reading >>

Respiratory Acidosis

Respiratory Acidosis

What is respiratory acidosis? Respiratory acidosis is a condition that occurs when the lungs can’t remove enough of the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by the body. Excess CO2 causes the pH of blood and other bodily fluids to decrease, making them too acidic. Normally, the body is able to balance the ions that control acidity. This balance is measured on a pH scale from 0 to 14. Acidosis occurs when the pH of the blood falls below 7.35 (normal blood pH is between 7.35 and 7.45). Respiratory acidosis is typically caused by an underlying disease or condition. This is also called respiratory failure or ventilatory failure. Normally, the lungs take in oxygen and exhale CO2. Oxygen passes from the lungs into the blood. CO2 passes from the blood into the lungs. However, sometimes the lungs can’t remove enough CO2. This may be due to a decrease in respiratory rate or decrease in air movement due to an underlying condition such as: There are two forms of respiratory acidosis: acute and chronic. Acute respiratory acidosis occurs quickly. It’s a medical emergency. Left untreated, symptoms will get progressively worse. It can become life-threatening. Chronic respiratory acidosis develops over time. It doesn’t cause symptoms. Instead, the body adapts to the increased acidity. For example, the kidneys produce more bicarbonate to help maintain balance. Chronic respiratory acidosis may not cause symptoms. Developing another illness may cause chronic respiratory acidosis to worsen and become acute respiratory acidosis. Initial signs of acute respiratory acidosis include: headache anxiety blurred vision restlessness confusion Without treatment, other symptoms may occur. These include: sleepiness or fatigue lethargy delirium or confusion shortness of breath coma The chronic form of Continue reading >>

Metabolic Acidosis Or Respiratory Alkalosis? Evaluation Of A Low Plasmabicarbonate Using The Urine Anion Gap.

Metabolic Acidosis Or Respiratory Alkalosis? Evaluation Of A Low Plasmabicarbonate Using The Urine Anion Gap.

1. Am J Kidney Dis. 2017 Sep;70(3):440-444. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2017.04.017. Epub2017 Jun 7. Metabolic Acidosis or Respiratory Alkalosis? Evaluation of a Low PlasmaBicarbonate Using the Urine Anion Gap. Batlle D(1), Chin-Theodorou J(2), Tucker BM(3). (1)Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, Department of Medicine, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Electronic address: [email protected] (2)Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, Department of Medicine, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. (3)Section of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Hypobicarbonatemia, or a reduced bicarbonate concentration in plasma, is afinding seen in 3 acid-base disorders: metabolic acidosis, chronic respiratoryalkalosis and mixed metabolic acidosis and chronic respiratory alkalosis.Hypobicarbonatemia due to chronic respiratory alkalosis is often misdiagnosed as a metabolic acidosis and mistreated with the administration of alkali therapy.Proper diagnosis of the cause of hypobicarbonatemia requires integration of thelaboratory values, arterial blood gas, and clinical history. The informationderived from the urinary response to the prevailing acid-base disorder is useful to arrive at the correct diagnosis. We discuss the use of urine anion gap, as asurrogate marker of urine ammonium excretion, in the evaluation of a patient withlow plasma bicarbonate concentration to differentiate between metabolic acidosis and chronic respiratory alkalosis. The interpretation and limitations of urineacid-base indexes at bedside (urine pH, urine bicarbonate, and urine anion gap)to evaluate urine acidification are discussed.Copyright 2017 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by E Continue reading >>

Respiratory Alkalosis

Respiratory Alkalosis

(Video) Overview of Buffering and the Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation By James L. Lewis, III, MD, Attending Physician, Brookwood Baptist Health and Saint Vincents Ascension Health, Birmingham Respiratory alkalosis is a primary decrease in carbon dioxide partial pressure (Pco2) with or without compensatory decrease in bicarbonate (HCO3); pH may be high or near normal. Cause is an increase in respiratory rate or volume (hyperventilation) or both. Respiratory alkalosis can be acute or chronic. The chronic form is asymptomatic, but the acute form causes light-headedness, confusion, paresthesias, cramps, and syncope. Signs include hyperpnea or tachypnea and carpopedal spasms. Diagnosis is clinical and with ABG and serum electrolyte measurements. Treatment is directed at the cause. (See also Acid-Base Regulation , Acid-Base Disorders , and Hyperventilation Syndrome .) Respiratory alkalosis is a primary decrease in Pco2 (hypocapnia) due to an increase in respiratory rate and/or volume (hyperventilation). Ventilation increase occurs most often as a physiologic response to hypoxia (eg, at high altitude), metabolic acidosis , and increased metabolic demands (eg, fever) and, as such, is present in many serious conditions. In addition, pain and anxiety and some CNS disorders (eg, stroke, seizure [post-ictal]) can increase respirations without a physiologic need. Distinction is based on the degree of metabolic compensation. Excess HCO3 is buffered by extracellular hydrogen ion (H+) within minutes, but more significant compensation occurs over 2 to 3 days as the kidneys decrease H+ excretion. Pseudorespiratory alkalosis is low arterial Pco2 and high pH in mechanically ventilated patients with severe metabolic acidosis due to poor systemic perfusion (eg, cardiogenic shock, during CPR) Continue reading >>

Respiratory Alkalosis

Respiratory Alkalosis

Author: Ryland P Byrd, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP more... Respiratory alkalosis is a disturbance in acid and base balance due to alveolar hyperventilation. Alveolar hyperventilation leads to a decreased partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2). In turn, the decrease in PaCO2 increases the ratio of bicarbonate concentration to PaCO2 and, thereby, increases the pH level, thus the descriptive term of respiratory alkalosis. The decrease in PaCO2 (hypocapnia) develops when a strong respiratory stimulus causes the respiratory system to remove more carbon dioxide than is produced metabolically in the tissues. Respiratory alkalosis can be acute or chronic. In acute respiratory alkalosis, the PaCO2 level is below the lower limit of normal and the serum pH is alkalemic. In chronic respiratory alkalosis, the PaCO2 level is below the lower limit of normal, but the pH level is relatively normal or near normal. Respiratory alkalosis is the most common acid-base abnormality observed in patients who are critically ill. It is associated with numerous illnesses and is a common finding in patients on mechanical ventilation. Many cardiac and pulmonary disorders can manifest with respiratory alkalosis as an early or intermediate finding. When respiratory alkalosis is present, the cause may be a minor, nonlife-threatening disorder. However, more serious disease processes should also be considered in the differential diagnosis. Breathing or alveolar ventilation is the bodys way of providing adequate amounts of oxygen for metabolism while removing carbon dioxide produced in the tissues. By sensing the bodys partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) and PaCO2, the respiratory system adjusts pulmonary ventilation so that oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide elim Continue reading >>

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