Acidosis and Abnormal Blood Chemistry

General or Other | Hematology | Acidosis and Abnormal Blood Chemistry (Disease)


Acidosis is an increase of acid in the body, a distinctly abnormal condition resulting from the accumulation of acid or from the depletion of alkaline reserves. In acidosis, the pH of the blood is abnormally low, below 7. 4. The term acidemia describes the state of low blood pH, while acidosis is used to describe the processes leading to these states. The opposite of acidosis is alkalosis in which there is too high a pH due to excess base or insufficient acid in the body.

There are two types of acidosis: metabolic and respiratory. Metabolic acidosis may result from increased production of metabolic acids or disturbances in the ability to excrete acid via the kidneys. One form of metabolic acidosis is ketoacidosis, which occurs in uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and starvation. Metabolic acidosis may also be caused by loss of bicarbonate (an alkali) as a result of severe diarrhea. Respiratory acidosis results from a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood, also known as hypercapnia, due to hypoventilation.

Causes and Risk factors

Acidosis and Abnormal Blood Chemistry is most often caused by pulmonary problems, although head injuries, drugs (especially anesthetics and sedatives), and brain tumors can cause this acidemia. Pneumothorax, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, severe pneumonia, and aspiration are among the most frequent causes. It can also occur as a compensatory response to chronic metabolic alkalosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The treatment of acidosis depends on its cause. Therapy may range from simple interventions, such as oral medications and intravenous fluids, to invasive measures, such as dialysis and surgery. The outcome of acidosis depends on its severity....