Evaluation and treatment of respiratory alkalosis

Am J Kidney Dis. 2012 Nov;60(5):834-8. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.03.025. Epub 2012 Aug 4.


Respiratory alkalosis is the most frequent acid-base disturbance encountered in clinical practice. This is particularly true in critically ill patients, for whom the degree of hypocapnia directly correlates with adverse outcomes. Although this acid-base disturbance often is considered benign, evidence suggests that the alkalemia of primary hypocapnia can cause clinically significant decreases in tissue oxygen delivery. Mild respiratory alkalosis often serves as a marker of an underlying disease and may not require therapeutic intervention. In contrast, severe respiratory alkalosis should be approached with a sense of urgency and be aggressively corrected.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkalosis, Respiratory* / diagnosis
  • Alkalosis, Respiratory* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male