Acidosis (Latin acidum, acid ') is a disorder of acid - base balance in humans and animals, which causes a decrease in pH in the blood. If the pH level in the blood is below 7.35, it is called acidosis. The reference range in humans is 7.35 to 7.45. If higher, it is called alkalosis.

The main reasons

  • When respiratory acidosis is present too low exhalation of carbon dioxide.
  • In the metabolic acidosis is an accumulation of too much acidic metabolic products in the blood, such as in a sugar derailed disease or chronic kidney disease. The pH decreases as the buffer capacity of the blood buffer (see acid -base balance ) exhausted to acids. This leads to a sudden and severe drop in pH and acute acidosis occurs. It often is an acute life-threatening appearance.
  • Anaerobic glycolysis ( eg due to lack of oxygen) and the increased formation of ketone bodies ( insulin deficiency) lead to an increase in the tissue concentration of acidic metabolites (lactate, ketone bodies ), thus leading to tissue acidosis. It is observed, inter alia, the shock, the cardiac arrest, diabetic coma and in severe circulatory disorders, transient and without clinical significance also in the muscle after anaerobic physical maximum load.


The acidosis is demonstrated through a blood gas analysis. From the measurements of bicarbonate and carbon dioxide partial pressure in arterial blood can be drawn between a respiratory and a metabolic disorder. A respiratory acidosis can be recognized by an increased partial pressure of CO2 ( PCO2 ) in a metabolic acidosis Standardbicarbonatkonzentration is lowered.