Understanding Acid-Base Disorders

Paul K. Hamilton, Neal Morgan, Grainne M Connolly, Alexander Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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The accurate interpretation of laboratory tests in patients with acid-base disorders is critical for understanding pathophysiology, making a diagnosis, planning effective treatment and monitoring progress. This is an important topic particularly for junior medical staff who may encounter acid- base problems outside normal working hours when patients become acutely unwell. These clinical situations may be a source of confusion particularly because of the variety of terms used to describe and classify acid-base disorders. In this article, we aim to provide the reader with an overview of the key concepts necessary for developing a good working understanding of acid-base disorders that commonly present in clinical medicine. We start with some acid-base disorder definitions and then provide a series of case vignettes to illustrate the key points.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-166
JournalThe Ulster Medical Journal
Early online date01 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • acidosis
  • alkalosis
  • metabolic acidosis
  • metabolic alkalosis
  • respiratory acidosis
  • respiratory alkalosis
  • anion gap


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