Renal bicarbonate handling in low birth weight infants during metabolic acidosis

Gaston Zilleruelo, Shahid Sultan, Eduardo Bancalari, Bernard Steele, Jose Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We studied the fractional excretion of bicarbonate (FE HCO3-) in 10 low birth weight infants aged 1-6 days during metabolic acidosis (base excess ≥ -5 mEq/1) and during subsequent sodium HCO3- infusion. The mean birth weight was 1,095 g; the mean gestational age was 29 weeks. The ability to decrease urine pH to >5.5 and FE HCO3- to >1% during metabolic acidosis was not limited by low gestational age or birth weight. After HCO3- therapy, all infants corrected their negative base excess, and plasma HCO3- increased significantly. All infants with blood pH ≥7.22 or PaCO2 ≥ 50 mm Hg had minimal or absent FE HCO3-. Infants with elevated PaCO2 and mild or absent acidosis also had complete HCO3- tubular reabsorption. These results suggest that the HCO3- tubular reabsorption is adequate during metabolic and/or respiratory acidosis in low birth weight infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986


  • Acidosis
  • Low birth weight infants
  • Urine bicarbonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Biology


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