Acid-base response to chronic hypocapnia in man

Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir. 1977 Sep-Oct;13(5):659-67.


The acid-base values of 13 patients with stable carbon dioxide tensions under controlled ventilation have been used to define the response to chronic hypocapnia in man. These patients had a respiratory paralysis and no apparent complicating disorders. Over a range of carbon dioxide tensions from 24 to 40 millimetres of mercury, the arterial blood hydrogen ion concentration decreased linearly by 0.32 nanomole per litre per millimetre of mercury decrement in carbon dioxide tension. Of primary interest was the finding that the slope of the regression line in chronic hypocapnia is close to that already reported for chronic hypercapnia. The physiological response to chronic hypocapnia in man is defined by a band that is approximately 10 nanomoles per litre (0.09 pH unit) wide for hydrogen ion concentration and 6 millimoles per litre wide for bicarbonate concentration. These significance bands may be used to differentiate additional acid-base disorders in patients with chronic hypocapnia over a clinically useful range of carbon dioxide tensions.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Imbalance / etiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bicarbonates / blood
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood*
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hyperventilation / blood*
  • Hyperventilation / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Paralysis / therapy


  • Bicarbonates
  • Carbon Dioxide