Effects of chronic acid-base changes on the rebreathing hypercapnic ventilatory response in man

Respiration. 1991;58(3-4):181-5. doi: 10.1159/000195923.


The CO2 rebreathing method can be very useful to test the hypercapnic ventilatory response in patients, including those with chronic acid-base changes (e.g. chronic metabolic acidosis due to renal failure). The ventilatory response to hypercapnia (CO2-R) was measured in 4 normal men by the rebreathing method under control conditions (CaCO3: 0.1 g.kg-1.day-1) and with induced metabolic acidosis (NH4Cl: 0.3 g.kg-1.day-1) and alkalosis (NaHCO3: 0.7 g.kg-1.day-1). The slope of the CO2-R did not change as a result of the acid-base alterations, but was shifted to the left of normal by metabolic acidosis, and to the right by metabolic alkalosis. These results compare favorably with previous reports on the CO2-R as measured by the steady-state technique, and validate the rebreathing method as a reliable and useful technique for evaluating CO2-R in man with altered acid-base states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium*
  • Adult
  • Carbon Dioxide / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypercapnia / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Respiration / physiology*


  • Carbon Dioxide