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August 11, 1923


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine of The College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the Presbyterian Hospital.

JAMA. 1923;81(6):452-454. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650060022006

The possible conditions of the acid-base balance of the blood, considering as variables the amount of bicarbonate present, and the hydrogen-ion concentration, have recently been defined by Van Slyke.1 Three of these variations, (a) the normal condition of health (in which both bicarbonate and pH are within normal limits), and the conditions of (b) compensated acidosis (normal pH, low bicarbonate), and of (c) uncompensated acidosis (low pH, low bicarbonate), are the ones most commonly observed. Several of the other theoretical possibilities have been reported as occurring either experimentally or clinically. The present communication is for the purpose of reporting a case of epidemic (lethargic) encephalitis with a disturbance of the respiratory mechanism producing a prolonged, extremely rapid, shallow type of breathing. So far as we have been able to discover, the condition of the acid-base equilibrium which was found has not previously been described as occurring