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Effects of Gas Exchange on Acid-Base Balance

  1. Michael I. Lindinger1,
  2. George J.F. Heigenhauser2

Published Online: 1 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/cphy.c100055

Comprehensive Physiology

Comprehensive Physiology

How to Cite

Lindinger, M. I. and Heigenhauser, G. J. 2012. Effects of Gas Exchange on Acid-Base Balance. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:2203–2254.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

  2. 2

    Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2012


This paper describes the interactions between ventilation and acid-base balance under a variety of conditions including rest, exercise, altitude, pregnancy, and various muscle, respiratory, cardiac, and renal pathologies. We introduce the physicochemical approach to assessing acid-base status and demonstrate how this approach can be used to quantify the origins of acid-base disorders using examples from the literature. The relationships between chemoreceptor and metaboreceptor control of ventilation and acid-base balance summarized here for adults, youth, and in various pathological conditions. There is a dynamic interplay between disturbances in acid-base balance, that is, exercise, that affect ventilation as well as imposed or pathological disturbances of ventilation that affect acid-base balance. Interactions between ventilation and acid-base balance are highlighted for moderate- to high-intensity exercise, altitude, induced acidosis and alkalosis, pregnancy, obesity, and some pathological conditions. In many situations, complete acid-base data are lacking, indicating a need for further research aimed at elucidating mechanistic bases for relationships between alterations in acid-base state and the ventilatory responses. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:2203-2254, 2012.