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June 1970

Intracellular pH and Electrolyte Metabolism in Chronic Stable Hypercapnia

Author Affiliations

Pittsburgh; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh

From the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh (Dr. Tushan and Robin); Ohio State University Hospital, Columbus (Dr. Bromberg); and Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh (Dr. Shively). Dr. Bromberg is now with the Ohio State University Hospital, Columbus.

Arch Intern Med. 1970;125(6):967-974. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310060045003

Intracellular pH of whole body and erythrocytes was measured in patients with moderate chronic stable hypercapnia caused by chronic obstructive lung disease. These values were not significantly different from those of normal subjects or from normal values reported in the literature. Unlike acute hypercapnia, mean whole body intracellular pH values were maintained in a normal range despite arterial pH values which varied between 7.27 and 7.46. The percentage of total body water was not significantly different between hypercapnics and normal subjects. However, extracellular water level was higher and intracellular water level was lower. Although plasma chloride concentration [CI-] was significantly lower in hypercapnics than in normal subjects, total body chlorides per kilogram body weight was not significantly different between the groups. Plasma, muscle, and red blood cell sodium and potassium levels did not differ significantly between the hypercapnics and the normal group.

The precise significance of the changes in acid-base

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