Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

7th Edition
Des Jardins + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337794909



Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

7th Edition
Des Jardins + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337794909
Textbook Problem

When the blood pH decreases, the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve shifts to the

A. Right and the P 50 decreases

B. Left and the P 50 increases

C. Right and the P 50 increases

D. Left and the P 50 decreases

Summary Introduction


With no oxygen, hemoglobin (Hb) is found in a tense state, that is, it has less affinity for oxygen. When the oxygen level increases, the binding affinity for hemoglobin also increases. When % (percent) hemoglobin saturation of the y-axis is plotted against the partial pressure of oxygen (mm Hg or millimeter of mercury) on the x-axis, we get an S-shaped curve. This indicates that with an increase in oxygen, more hemoglobin binds to it, which is known as the relaxed state. This phenomenon of oxygen binding readily at the relaxed state of hemoglobin is known as cooperativity. When hemoglobin is 100% saturated with oxygen, the S-shaped curve levels out eventually.


Justification/Explanation for the correct answer:

Option (c) is, ‘right and P50 increases.’ P50 is the reference point on the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve. It represents the partial pressure on the curve where there are two molecules of oxygen bound to Hb, that is, Hb is 50% saturated. When the hydrogen ion concentration in the blood increases, the blood pH decreases. With the decrease in blood pH, the Hb binding affinity decreases as more hydrogen ions are available to bind to oxygen. This leads to a less percent of Hb saturation leading to the shifting of the curve towards right and there is an increase in P50. Hence, option (c) is correct.

Explanation for incorrect answer:

Option (a) is, ‘right and P50 decreases.’ When hydrogen ions in the blood increases, there is less hemoglobin saturation at the given partial pressure...

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