ing days for the serum 1 3 to reach the steady state. 1 3 Respiratory acidosis is caused by respiratory insufficiency resulting in an increased arterial CO2

concentration. The compensation for respiratory acidosis (if present for prolonged periods) is an increase in serum HCO 3 Respiratory alkalosis is caused by hyperventilation resulting in a decreased arterial CO2 concentration. The compensation for respiratory alkalosis (ifpresent for prolonged periods) is a decrease in serum

A respiratory acid-base disorder is a pH disturbance caused by pathologic alterations of the respiratory system or its central nervous system control. Such an alteration may result in the accumulation of PaCO2 beyond normal limits (greater than 45 mm Hg or 6 kPa), a situation termed respiratory acidosis, or it may result in the loss of PaCO2 beyond normal limits (less than 35 mm Hg or 4.7 kPa), a condition termed respiratory alkalosis. Variations in respiratory rate and/or depth allow the lungs to achieve changes in the PaCO2 very quickly (within minutes).

Bicarbonate is a base that is regulated by renal metabolism via the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. As such, bicarbonate is often referred to as being under metabolic control. Metabolic acidosis and alkalosis result f'om primary disturbances in the


serum 1 3 concentration. Respiratory compensation of metabolic disturbances begins within minutes and is complete within 12 hours. Metabolic acidosis is

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