Severe hypercapnia associated with a non-respiratory alkalosis

British Journal of Diseases of the Chest
J Webb


A case of hypoventilation in response to a non-respiratory alkalosis is presented. It is postulated that the degree of hypoventilation encountered was a normal response and that a fall in intracellular hydrogen ion concentration was responsible for the hypoventilation. This explains why the alkalosis associated with potassium deficiency is not associated with hypoventilation since the intracellular hydrogen ion concentration then remains constant. The renal response in this condition is responsible for maintaining the alkalosis and seems to be aimed at sodium conservation and hence plasma volume control rather than defence of acid-base balance.


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