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Neonatal Med > Volume 17(2); 2010 > Article
Journal of the Korean Society of Neonatology 2010;17(2):155-160.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5385/jksn.2010.17.2.155    Published online November 1, 2010.
Acid-base Balance and Metabolic Acidosis in Neonates.
Byong Sop Lee
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. mdleebs@amc.seoul.kr
Metabolic acidosis is commonly encountered issues in the management of critically ill neonates and especially of preterm infants during early neonatal days. In extremely premature infants, low glomerular filtration rate and immaturity of renal tubules to produce new bicarbonate causes renal bicarbonate loss. Higher intake of amino acids, relatively greater contribution of protein to the energy metabolism and mineralization process in growing bones are also responsible for higher acid load in premature infant than in adult. Despite widespread use of sodium bicarbonate in the management of severe metabolic acidosis, use of sodium bicarbonate in premature infants should be restricted to a reasonable but unproven exception such as ongoing renal loss. Despite concern about the low pH value (<7.2) which can compromise cellular metabolic function, no treatment guideline has been established regarding the management of metabolic acidosis in premature infants. Appropriately powered randomized controlled trials of base therapy to treat metabolic acidosis in critically ill newborn infants are demanding.
Key Words: Acid-base imbalance; Metabolic acidosis; Sodium bicarbonate; Premature infant


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