January 1971

Electrolyte and Acid-Base Composition of Pericardial Fluid in Man

Author Affiliations

Chapel Hills, NC
From the departments of surgery, biochemistry, and medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. Dr. Hutchin is now with the University of California, San Diego.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(1):28-30. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350010030007

Total carbon dioxide value and pH were higher in pericardial fluid than in arterial blood in 11 patients undergoing open-heart surgery, while calcium, phosphorus, and total protein levels were lower, and sodium, potassium, chloride, and urea nitrogen levels were the same. The findings are consistent with rapid diffusion of carbon dioxide and slow equilibration of bicarbonate across the pericardial membranes.