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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Nov;23(11):1270-5.

Reexamination of Stewart's quantitative analysis of acid-base status.

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Department of Research and Sport Medicine, Zinman College, Wingate Institute, Israel.


To provide experimental verification to Stewart's quantitative approach to acid-base analysis, the effects of acute maximal treadmill exercise (VO2max test) on venous acid base status were studied in 17 male subjects aged 18-23 yr. Venous CO2 tension (PCO2) total plasma proteins ([PTOT]), [H+], and concentrations of strong ions [( Na+], [K+], [Cl-] and lactate ion concentration ([La-]) were measured before and within 1 min post-exercise. Mean post-exercise PCO2, [PTOT], [K+], and [La-] were significantly higher than the corresponding pre-exercise values (P less than 0.05), there was a strong tendency for a significant change in [Na+] (P less than 0.056), and no changes were found in [Cl-]. Changes in venous acid-base status were analyzed quantitatively by applying relevant physicochemical theory. Altered values measured in the independent variables ([PTOT], PCO2, and net strong ion difference, [SID]) were used to calculate the corresponding changes in the dependent quantities. Comparison of individual measured and calculated values for the only one of these that is normally measured, ([H+]), yielded the theoretically expected agreement. PCO2 and [SID] changes accounted for most [H+] changes. These results demonstrate the usefulness of the quantitative approach (i.e., [H+]-PCO2 diagram) in the analysis and in understanding of plasma acid base changes with exercise and in clinical situations.

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