Indications for measurement of total carbon dioxide in arterial blood

Gerald J Kost, J. K T Trent, D. Saeed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence of variability in pK1', the practical dissociation coefficient used in the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation to calculate arterial bicarbonate from measurements of arterial pH and p(CO2). The case presented here illustrates not only potential technical artifacts in arterial blood sampling, which can confuse, but also irreconcilable differences in the values of calculated arterial bicarbonate vs measured arterial and venous total carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide content). Measurements of total carbon dioxide in arterial blood will resolve such conflicts, particularly for acutely ill patients, and will reflect the correct bicarbonate measurements for use in therapeutic decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1650-1652
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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