Total Carbon dioxide (TCO2) Lab Test

Total Carbon dioxide (TCO2)
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What is Total Carbon dioxide (TCO2)?

Bicarbonate is a chemical substance that acts as a buffer and does not allow the pH of the blood to become too acidic or too basic. The kidney and lungs balance the levels of bicarbonate in the body.

If bicarbonate levels are too high or low, it might indicate a problem with those organs. Thus the bicarbonate test is helpful in detecting a number of conditions that affect the blood bicarbonate levels such as lung disease, kidney disorders and metabolic conditions.

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

The bicarbonate test is performed to measure the level of bicarbonate in a person's blood.

It may be done under the following conditions:-

  • As part of a routine exam or to help evaluate a chronic or acute illness
  • To detect and evaluate an electrolyte imbalance
  • To monitor the effectiveness of treatment for known imbalances
  • At different intervals to help monitor conditions, such as kidney disease and hypertension
  • To evaluate your body’s acid-base balance (pH)
  • As a part of the Electrolyte panel along with other tests like such as sodium, potassium and chloride test

Reason to take Total Carbon dioxide (TCO2) Test

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Prolonged vomiting
  • Water retention
  • Dehydration
  • Respiratory distress

Preparations Needed for Total Carbon dioxide (TCO2) Test

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 Total Carbon dioxide (TCO2)

Reference RangeInterpretation
23 to 29 MEq/L **Normal

** Milliequivalent per liter

Inference: Higher values are found in the blood of persons suffering from persistent vomiting and dehydration or in those who have just undergone a blood transfusion. The excessive use of antacids can also increase the bicarbonate level. It can also be indicative of conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, heart disease, Cushing's disease and Conn's syndrome. Low bicarbonate values are observed due to rapid breathing and an overdose of alcohol or aspirin. Severe malnutrition, burns, shock, liver or kidney diseases, hyperthyroidism, uncontrolled diabetes, or a massive heart attack can also lower the bicarbonate value.

‘*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