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Liver Int. 2005 Jun;25(3):505-12.

Equilibrium of acidifying and alkalinizing metabolic acid-base disorders in cirrhosis.

Author information

1
Fourth Medical Department, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. georg-christian.funk@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Conflicting results exist with regard to metabolic acid-base status in liver cirrhosis, when the classic concept of acid-base analysis is applied. The influence of the common disturbances of water, electrolytes and albumin on acid-base status in cirrhosis has not been studied. The aim of this study was to clarify acid-base status in cirrhotic patients by analyzing all parameters with possible impact on acid-base equilibrium.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Fifty stable cirrhotic patients admitted to a university hospital. Arterial acid-base status was analyzed using the principles of physical chemistry and compared with 10 healthy controls.

RESULTS:

Apart from mild hypoalbuminemic alkalosis, acid-base state was normal in Child-Pugh A cirrhosis. Respiratory alkalosis was the net acid-base disorder in Child-Pugh B and C cirrhosis with a normal overall metabolic acid-base state (Base excess-1.0 (-3.6 to 1.6) vs 1.1 (-0.2 to 1.1) mmol/l, P = 0.136, compared with healthy controls, median (interquartile range)). Absence of an apparent metabolic acid-base disorder was based on an equilibrium of hypoalbuminemic alkalosis and of dilutional acidosis and hyperchloremic acidosis.

CONCLUSION:

A balance of offsetting acidifying and alkalinizing metabolic acid-base disorders leaves the net metabolic acid-base status unchanged in cirrhosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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