The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2006 / Article

Review Article | Open Access

Volume 6 |Article ID 234956 |

Horacio A. Repetto, Roberto Penna, "Apparent Bicarbonate Space in Children", The Scientific World Journal, vol. 6, Article ID 234956, 6 pages, 2006.

Apparent Bicarbonate Space in Children

Academic Editor: Patricia Vallés
Received20 Sep 2005
Revised04 Jan 2006
Accepted13 Jan 2006


The amount needed to change the concentration of a solute requires the knowledge of its volume of distribution in the solution. Electrolytes that do not participate in active metabolic reactions have a fixed volume of distribution that corresponds to the volume of water in which they solubilize. Bicarbonate infusion is used to correct hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis. Its volume of distribution (bicarbonate space) changes with its participation in the blood buffer systems. In other words, it is not a fixed physical volume, like that of other solutes. In this paper, we shall review experimental studies that supported evidence for this knowledge and analyze the basic hypothesis to explain the phenomena. Since we have not found clinical studies in children, we shall report our experience in a group of patients with metabolic acidosis treated with bicarbonate infusion in whom apparent bicarbonate space was measured and compared with data in adults from the literature. Guidelines for amount of bicarbonate needed to increase its concentration according to baseline bicarbonate concentration will be suggested.

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