Journal of Applied Physiology

Effects of hypocapnia and hypocapnic alkalosis on cardiovascular function

C. W. Zwillich, D. J. Pierson, E. M. Creagh, J. V. Weil


Cardiovascular effects of hypocapnia and hypocapnic alkalosis with and without a fluid load were studied in four groups of dogs (group I: fluid load control; group II: fluid load-isolated hypocapnia; group III: fluid load-hypocapnic alkalosis; group IV: no fluid load-hypocapnic alkalosis). Hypocapnic alkalosis was induced by mechanical hyperventilation, and isolated hypocapnia by the simultaneous administration of 0.1 N HCl. Respiratory alkalosis was also studied during administration of a saline fluid load. Cardiac output and stroke volume increased in all groups receiving a fluid load (including isolated hypocapnia and hypocapnic alkalosis groups), but both fell significantly during hypocapnic alkalosis without fluid load. Pulmonary artery wedge pressure rose in groups with hypocapnic alkalosis with fluid load and isolated hypocapnia with fluid load, but did not change significantly with hypocapnic alkalosis without fluid load or in the normocapnic group with fluid load. It is concluded that cardiac output and stroke volume fall in response to hypocapnic alkalosis but both are maintained with a fluid load at the expense of an increased left ventricular preload.