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The rule regulating pH changes during crystalloid infusion

E. Carlesso| G. Maiocchi| F. Tallarini| F. Polli| F. Valenza| P. Cadringher| L. Gattinoni
Original
Volume 37, Issue 3 / March , 2011

Pages 461 - 468

Abstract

Purpose

To define the rule according to which crystalloid solutions characterized by different strong ion difference (SID) modify the acid–base variables of human plasma.

Methods

With a previously validated software, we computed the effects of diluting human plasma with crystalloid solutions ([SID] 0–60, 10 mEq/l stepwise). An equation was derived to compute the diluent [SID] required to maintain the baseline pH unchanged, at constant PCO2 and at every dilution fraction. The results were experimentally tested using fresh frozen plasma, re-warmed at 37°C, equilibrated at PCO2 35 and 78 mmHg, at baseline and after the infusion of crystalloid solutions with 0, 12, 24, 36, 48 mEq/l [SID].

Results

The mathematical analysis showed that the diluent [SID] required to maintain unmodified the baseline pH equals the baseline bicarbonate concentration, [HCO3], assuming constant PCO2 throughout the process. The experimental data confirmed the theoretical analysis. In fact, at the baseline [HCO3] of 18.3 ± 0.3 mmol/l (PCO2 35 mmHg) the pH was 7.332 ± 0.004 and remained 7.333 ± 0.003 when the diluting [SID] was 18.5 ± 0.0 mEq/l. At baseline [HCO3] of 19.5 ± 0.3 mmol/l (PCO2 78 mmHg) the pH was 7.010 ± 0.003 and remained 7.004 ± 0.003 when the diluting [SID] was 19.1 ± 0.1 mEq/l. At both PCO2 values infusion with [SID] lower or greater than baseline [HCO3] led pH to decrease or increase, respectively.

Conclusions

The baseline [HCO3] dictates the pH response to crystalloid infusion. If a crystalloid [SID] equals baseline [HCO3], pH remains unchanged at constant PCO2, whereas it increases or decreases if the [SID] is greater or lower, respectively.

Keywords

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