Acidotic Hypercapnia: A Case Series of Acidosis Driven Respiratory Muscle Dysfunction

Catherine King, Abigail Bishopp, Natasha Santana-Vaz, Ambika Talwar, Rahul Mukherjee


Established indications for non-invasive ventilation (NIV) include acute or acute-on-chronic type 2 respiratory failure associated with acidosis. It is commonly assumed that this acidosis is a secondary phenomenon which follows the development of acute hypercapnia. This case series describes four patients with acidotic hypercapnia (type 2 respiratory failure secondary to metabolic acidosis) demonstrated through serial arterial blood gases who were successfully treated with NIV. Acidotic hypercapnia is a relatively common under-recognized subtype of respiratory failure for which further trials are required to establish the role of NIV.

J Med Cases. 2016;7(8):344-347


Metabolic acidosis; Non-invasive ventilation; Type 2 respiratory failure

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