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ABG Interpretation
 
 

Assessing Bicarbonate

 
 
 
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Overview

Bicarbonate (HCO₃) is one of the major alkali present in the blood, and plays a crucial role in acid-base balance.
    • Normal Range

    • 22 - 26 mmol/L

Elevated HCO₃

An elevated bicarbonate level greater than 26 suggests the presence of a metabolic process - either primary (metabolic alkalosis) or secondary (compensation for respiratory acidosis).
  • Interpretation

  • Elevated pH with elevated HCO₃ - suggests metabolic alkalosis
  • Reduced pH with elevated HCO₃ and elevated PCOâ‚‚ - suggests metabolic compensation for chronic respiratory acidosis
  • Normal pH with elevated HCO₃ and elevated PCOâ‚‚ - suggests mixed metabolic alkalosis-respiratory acidosis

Reduced HCO₃

A reduced bicarbonate level less than 22 suggests the presence of a metabolic process - either primary (metabolic acidosis) or secondary (compensation for respiratory alkalosis).
  • Interpretation

  • Reduced pH with reduced HCO₃ - suggests metabolic acidosis
  • Elevated pH with reduced HCO₃ and reduced PCOâ‚‚ - suggests metabolic compensation for chronic respiratory alkalosis
  • Normal pH with reduced HCO₃ and reduced PCOâ‚‚ - suggests mixed metabolic acidosis-respiratory alkalosis
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