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- Test Details
- Lab Values
- Clinical Significance
- Treatment Options
Bicarbonate is an electrolyte used by the body to maintain acid/base balance. (pH). Measures the most prevalent form of total carbon dioxide in the blood which is bicarbonate.
Enzymatic using phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC)
1.0 mL serum (0.5 mL minimum) collected in serum separator tube (SST/Tiger Top)
Refrigerated (ship on frozen cold packs)
Refrigerated: 7 days
- Low: <20 mmol/L
- Normal: 20-31 mmol/L
- High: >31 mmol/L
- Alert: ≤10 or ≥40 mmol/L
- Elevated levels of CO2 can indicate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, or pneumonia, hypertension, metabolic alkalosis.
- Low levels can indicate cirrhosis or liver failure, diabetic ketoacidosis, metabolic or respiratory acidosis, kidney disease, or aspirin overdose.
- Assess etiology of elevation such as dehydration, vomiting, medications, and kidney problems that may lead to abnormal electrolyte imbalance
- Some drugs may increase bicarbonate levels including fludrocortisone, barbiturates, bicarbonates, hydrocortisone, loop diuretics, and steroids.
- Drugs that may decrease bicarbonate levels include methicillin, nitrofurantoin, tetracycline, thiazide diuretics, and triamterene