0
Clinical Investigations in Critical Care |

Sodium Bicarbonate for the Treatment of Lactic Acidosis*

Sean M. Forsythe, MD; Gregory A. Schmidt, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Medicine (Dr. Forsythe) and the Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care (Dr. Schmidt), University of Chicago School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.

Correspondence to: Gregory A. Schmidt, MD, FCCP, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care: MC6026, 5841 S. Maryland Ave, Chicago, IL 60637; e-mail: gschmidt@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu



Chest. 2000;117(1):260-267. doi:10.1378/chest.117.1.260
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Lactic acidosis often challenges the intensivist and is associated with a strikingly high mortality. Treatment involves discerning and correcting its underlying cause, ensuring adequate oxygen delivery to tissues, reducing oxygen demand through sedation and mechanical ventilation, and (most controversially) attempting to alkalinize the blood with IV sodium bicarbonate. Here we review the literature to answer the following questions: Is a low pH bad? Can sodium bicarbonate raise the pH in vivo? Does increasing the blood pH with sodium bicarbonate have any salutary effects? Does sodium bicarbonate have negative side effects? We find that the oft-cited rationale for bicarbonate use, that it might ameliorate the hemodynamic depression of metabolic acidemia, has been disproved convincingly. Further, given the lack of evidence supporting its use, we cannot condone bicarbonate administration for patients with lactic acidosis, regardless of the degree of acidemia.


Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543