Primary respiratory alkalosis is an acid-base disorder that can be caused by several very different mechanisms leading to hypocapnia. It results in an extracellular and intracellular alkalemia until compensatory mechanisms are fully operative. The consequences of this disorder are clearly dependent on the magnitude of the primary disorder and on the rapidity of the decrease in PCO2 (Fig 1).

A-Akijlilrr^i'iA ■ 'm «rj ^iaiTa pjlflP A-IJil [v'U3«üH

A-Akijlilrr^i'iA ■ 'm «rj ^iaiTa pjlflP A-IJil [v'U3«üH

Fig. 1 Summary of the pathophysiology of respiratory alkalosis.


Druml, W., Grimm, G., Laggner, A., Lenz, K., and Schneeweiss, B. (1991). Lactic acid kinetics in respiratory alkalosis. Critical Care Medicine, 19, 1120-4.

Giesbisch, G., Berger, L., and Pitts, R. (1955). The extrarenal response to acute acid-base disturbances of respiratory origin. Journal of Clinical Investigations, 34, 231-42.

Krapf, R., Jaeger, P., and Hulter, H. (1992). Chronic respiratory alkalosis induces renal PTH-resistance. Kidney International, 42, 727-34.

Krapf, R., Caduff, P., Wagdi, P., Staubli, M., and Hulter, H. (1995). Plasma potassium response to acute respiratory alkalosis. Kidney International, 47, 217-24.

Molony, D. and Jacobson, H. (1986). Respiratory acid-base disorders. In Fluids and electrolytes (ed. J. Kokko and R.Tannen). W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA.

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