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January 15, 1973

Computer-Based Instruction and Diagnosis of Acid-Base DisordersA Systematic Approach

Author Affiliations

From the Renal-Electrolyte Section, Department of Medicine (Dr. Goldberg and S. B. Green) and the Johnson Research Foundation (C. B. Marbach and D. Garfinkel), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Dr.; Moss is now with the Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.

JAMA. 1973;223(3):269-275. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220030013003

A computer-based approach for instruction and diagnosis of clinical acidbase disorders has been developed. Its significant features are the following: (1) consideration of a differential diagnosis list (rather than a single diagnosis) for any given blood pH plus either carbon dioxide content, bicarbonate level, or partial pressure of carbon dioxide; (2) use of ancillary clinical and laboratory information about the patient to arrive at the most likely diagnosis from the differential diagnosis list; (3) adaptability to users of widely differing clinical expertise and educational backgrounds; and (4) provision for tabulating the relative frequencies of acid-base disorders presented to the computer. The computer's differential diagnosis is based on an acid-base map. A sample case illustrates the logical process involved. This program demonstrates that the computer can mimic the clinical consultant in its approach to diagnosis and in its ability to teach.