Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

7th Edition
Des Jardins + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337794909



Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

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

Metabolic acidosis caused by fixed acids is present when the anion gap is greater than

A. 9 mEq/L

B. 14 mEq/L

C. 20 mEq/L

D. 25 mEq/L

Summary Introduction


The accumulation of fixed acids or a loss of a huge amount of bicarbonate ions leads to metabolic acidosis in the patient. The anion gap is calculated and is used for knowing the cause of metabolic acidosis, that is, whether it is caused by the fixed acids or by the loss of bicarbonate ions.


Justification for the correct answer:

Option (b) is given that the anion gap greater than 14 mEq/L causes metabolic acidosis. The law of electroneutrality states that the total number of the plasma positively-charged ions and the plasma negatively-charged ions must remain equal in the body fluids. The standard plasma concentrations of the cations and anions are:

Na+ : 140 mEq/LCl- : 105 mEq/LHCO3- : 24 mEq/L

The anion gap is calculated mathematically by subtracting the concentration of Na+ ions (sodium ions) from the sum of HCO3- ions (bicarbonate ions) and Cl- ions (chloride ions):

Aniongap = [Na+] - ([Cl-] + [HCO

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