Chapter 6

Acid-Base Balance

Nasr H. Anaizi

Abstract

This chapter deals with acid-base homeostasis with special emphasis on the role of the respiratory system. After explaining why maintaining a relatively constant proton activity is critical to optimal cellular function we define acid-base balance and describe the basic mechanisms responsible for acid-base homeostasis. After describing the unique role of the HCO3-/CO2 buffer pair in acid-base regulation the four primary acid-base disturbances are defined. Finally an extensive outline is presented of the various approaches for the evaluation of acid-base disorders followed by examples and a few clinical cases.

Total Pages: 122-149 (28)

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