Respiratory adjustment to chronic metabolic alkalosis in man

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
R M GoldringA P Fishman


This study examined the ventilatory adjustment to chronic metabolic alkalosis induced under controlled conditions in normal human volunteers. Metabolic alkalosis induced by buffers (sodium bicarbonate, trishydroxymethylamine methane) or ethacrynic acid was associated with alveolar hypoventilation, as evidenced by a rise in arterial Pco(2), a fall in arterial Po(2), a reduced resting tidal volume, and a diminished ventilatory response to CO(2) inhalation. Alveolar hypoventilation did not occur when metabolic alkalosis was induced in the same subjects by thiazide diuretics or aldosterone despite comparable elevations of the arterial blood pH and bicarbonate concentration.The different ventilatory responses of the two groups could not be ascribed to differences among individuals comprising each group, pharmacological effects of the alkalinizing agents, differences in the composition of the lumber spinal fluid, changes in extracellular fluid volume, or sodium and chloride balance.The differences in ventilatory adjustments were associated with differences in the patterns of hydrogen and potassium ion balance during the induction of alkalosis. Alveolar hypoventilation occurred when hydrogen ions were buffered (sodium bicarbonate, tri...Continue Reading


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