A diagram to facilitate the understanding and therapy of mixed acid base disorders

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
L I Worthley


A diagram based on in-vivo relationships between arterial hydrogen ion activity (H+) and carbon dioxide tension (PCO2) in primary abnormalities of acid base homeostasis is presented. It is designed to facilitate the interpretation of pH data by including the 95% confidence limits described in patients with simple metabolic and respiratory acid base disorders. These bands have been formulated from observation of simple acid base abnormalities and indicate the appropriate respiratory or renal compensatory response to the primary pH defect. A plot which falls outside these limits therefore indicates the presence of a mixed acid base disorder. The diagram presents a physiological approach to clinical disorders of pH regulation demonstrating maintenance of intra-cellular fluid homeostasis during primary extracellular fluid disturbances. Diagnostic and therapeutic advantages are further illustrated and discussed in six case reports.


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Related Concepts

Acid-Base Imbalance
Metabolic Acidosis
Alkalosis, Respiratory
Water Stress
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Insulin B Chain
Sodium Chloride, (24)NaCl

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