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co2 (mmHg)

FIGURE 4 Blood-CO2 equilibrium curve shown on same graph with O2 equilibrium curve. Differences between the curves result in higher CO2 concentrations in the blood, and smaller Pco2 differences between arterial and venous blood. Hemoglobin-O2 saturation affects the position of the CO2 equilibrium curve (i.e., Haldane effect).

dissolved CO2 contributes only about 5% of total CO2 concentration in arterial blood.

Carbamino compounds comprise the second form of CO2 in blood. These compounds occur when CO2 combines with terminal amine groups in blood proteins, especially with the globin of hemoglobin. However, this chemical combination between CO2 and hemoglobin is much less important than Hb-O2 binding, so carbamino compounds comprise only 5% of the total CO2 in arterial blood.

Bicarbonate ion (HCO-) is the most important form of CO2 carriage in blood. CO2 combines with water to form carbonic acid, and this dissociates to HCO3-and H+:

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