[Interpretation of acid-base disorders]

Med Klin Intensivmed Notfmed. 2019 Nov;114(8):765-776. doi: 10.1007/s00063-019-00621-x. Epub 2019 Oct 22.
[Article in German]


Keeping blood pH levels stable within narrow limits is prerequisite for maintaining normal body function. Disruptions of this equilibrium can occur for a variety of reasons and may result in life-threatening conditions. Therefore, the identification and the interpretation of acid-base disorders are of great importance in emergency medicine. The same applies to intensive care as well as to almost all areas of internal medicine. In this article, we provide a practical overview of all relevant acid-base disorders that are due to both metabolic and respiratory disturbances. In addition, it shows how they can be diagnosed in everyday clinical practice by applying the simplified Stewart Approach.

Keywords: Acidosis; Alkalosis; Blood gas analysis; Lactate; Metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / physiology*
  • Acid-Base Imbalance* / blood
  • Acid-Base Imbalance* / diagnosis
  • Acidosis
  • Blood Gas Analysis*
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Humans