Journal of Applied Physiology

Acid-base curve nomogram for chimpanzee blood and comparison with human blood characteristics

N. Takano, M. J. Lever, C. J. Lambertsen


An acid-base nomogram for chimpanzee blood was constructed. Blood was drawn from eight lightly anesthetized chimpanzees. Each sample of blood was oxygenated and nine aliquots were prepared with three different concentrations of hemoglobin and three different amounts of added acid or base. Each aliquot was equilibrated at two PCO2 levels and the pH was measured and plotted on pH-logPCO2 coordinates. Using the intersection point of these pH-logPCO2 lines as a point of equal hemoglobin-independent “base excess” for each condition, values for true base excess were plotted. Connecting these values provided a Cartesian PCO2-pH base excess nomogram for the chimpanzee comparable to that devised by Siggaard-Andersen for humans. Examination of blood from normal human subjects by the same methods showed no appreciable differences from the original Siggaard-Andersen nomogram. However, the PCO2-pH-base excess nomogram for chimpanzee blood deviated slightly from that for human blood. It is possible that the deviation is related to an arterial bicarbonate concentration in the chimpanzee slightly higher than that in human.