Respiratory Acidosis

  • Alluru S. ReddiEmail author


As stated in Chap. 26, respiratory acid–base disorders are due to changes in CO2. In normal individuals, the arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) is maintained at approximately 40 mmHg. This consistency of pCO2 is maintained by the alveolar ventilation. Lungs are the only organs that eliminate (excrete) CO2. Several physiologic mechanisms participate in the maintenance of CO2 balance (given later). Disturbance in any one of these mechanisms leads either to retention (hypercapnia or an increase in pCO2) or excessive elimination (hypocapnia or a decrease in pCO2) of CO2. The respiratory acid–base disorder that is associated with hypercapnia is called respiratory acidosis, whereas that associated with hypocapnia is known as respiratory alkalosis. In a normal individual, CO2 balance is maintained by the following mechanisms: (1) CO2 production, (2) CO2 transport, (3) CO2 excretion, and (4) control of ventilation by central nervous system (CNS).


Acute respiratory acidosis Chronic respiratory acidosis Primary hypercapnia Respiratory acidosis and hypoxemia Causes of respiratory acidosis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine Division of Nephrology and HypertensionRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA

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