Bicarbonate (HCO3-) Lab Test

Total Carbon dioxide (TCO2)
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Clinical Definition of Bicarbonate (HCO3-)

Bicarbonate is chemical matter that shields and does not let the pH of the blood to get too acidic or too basic. The kidney and lungs stabilize the levels of bicarbonate in the body. If bicarbonate levels are extreme; ie too high or low, there could be a possibility of an issue with those organs. Thus the bicarbonate test is useful in assesing various conditions that affect the blood bicarbonate levels like lung disease, kidney disorders and metabolic conditions.

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

  • A bicarbonate test analyses the amount of bicarbonate in a person's blood.
  • It is generally ordered under speciific requirements:
  • A routine check or to detect any underlying chronic or acute illness
  • To diagnose an electrolyte imbalance
  • To check and asses the effectiveness of treatment for any present imbalances
  • To monitor conditions at regular or frequent intervals for various issues like kidney disease and hypertension
  • To analyze the body’s acid-base balance (pH)
  • It is also conducted in the Electrolyte panel with various tests like sodium, potassium and chloride test

Reason to take Bicarbonate (HCO3-) Test

Common symptoms observed are: 

  • Water retention
  • Dehydration 
  • Weakness 
  • Confusion 
  • Prolonged 
  • Vomiting and Respiratory distress.

Preparations Needed for Bicarbonate (HCO3-) Test

Preparatory instructions during specimen collection*:

No Fasting Required.
No other special preparations required.

Sample Required?

Specimen type:Serum(Blood Sample)

Specimen collection procedure:Venipuncture(Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm)

Understanding results of Bicarbonate (HCO3-)

Reference RangeInterpretation
23 to 29 MEq/L **Normal

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

References

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003469.htm
  2. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/bicarbonate-total-co2
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003469.htm