Measurement Of Plasma Acidity

Plasma hydrogen ion concentration ([H +]) is normally 40 meq (40 mmol) per liter and corresponds to a pH of 7.4. It is inconvenient to work with such small concentrations, and the negative base 10 logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration (pH) is therefore often used to express plasma acidity. Because pH is a logarithmic transformation of [H+], the relationship of [H+] to pH is not linear for all pH values (Table...?!-!). However, for pH values from 7.20 to 7.50, the relationship between hydrogen ion concentration and pH is nearly linear; pH changes of 0.01 unit correspond to approximately 1 mmol/L change in [H +].

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TABLE 21-1 pH and Hydrogen Ion Concentrations

Plasma Acid Homeostasis

Plasma hydrogen ion concentration is influenced by rate of endogenous production, rate of excretion, and buffering capacity of the body. Buffers mitigate the impact on plasma pH of large changes in available hydrogen ion. A buffer pair consists of a weak acid and its conjugate base, which are in equilibrium, as seen in Eq (1), below:

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