What is the role of acidemia and alkalemia in the pathogenesis of metabolic acidosis?

Updated: Oct 10, 2018
  • Author: Christie P Thomas, MBBS, FRCP, FASN, FAHA; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

In healthy people, blood pH is maintained at 7.39-7.41, and because pH is the negative logarithm of [H+] (pH = - log10 [H+]), an increase in pH indicates a decrease in [H+] and vice versa. An increase in [H+] and a fall in pH are termed acidemia, and a decrease in [H+] and an increase in pH are termed alkalemia. The underlying disorders that lead to acidemia and alkalemia are acidosis and alkalosis, respectively. Metabolic acidosis is a primary decrease in serum HCO3 - concentration and, in its pure form, manifests as acidemia (pH < 7.40).


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