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).
KeywordsAcute respiratory acidosis Chronic respiratory acidosis Primary hypercapnia Respiratory acidosis and hypoxemia Causes of respiratory acidosis
- 1.Bruno CM, Valenti M. Acid-base disorders in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a pathophysiological review. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:915150 (Article ID 915150, 2012).Google Scholar
- 3.Adrogué HJ, Madias NE. Respiratory acidosis. In: Gennari FJ, Adrogué HJ, Galla JH, Madias NE, editors. Acid-base disorders and their treatment. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis; 2005. pp. 597–639.Google Scholar
- 5.Elliott CG, Morris AH. Clinical syndromes of respiratory acidosis and alkalosis. In: Seldin DW, Giebisch G, editors. The regulation of acid-base balance. New York: Raven Press; 1989. pp. 483–521.Google Scholar