St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    CO2 blood test

    Bicarbonate test; HCO3-; Carbon dioxide test; TCO2; Total CO2; CO2 test - serum

    CO2 is carbon dioxide. This article discusses the laboratory test to measures the amount of carbon dioxide in the liquid part of your blood, called the serum.

    In the body, most of the CO2 is in the form of a substance called bicarbonate (HCO3-). Therefore, the CO2 blood test is really a measure of your blood bicarbonate level.

    A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is typically drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

    Many medicines can interfere with blood test results.

    • Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
    • Do not stop or change your medications without talking to your doctor first.

    You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted. You may also feel some throbbing at the site after the blood is drawn.

    The CO2 test is most often done as part of an electrolyte or basic metabolic panel. Changes in your CO2 level may suggest that you are losing or retaining fluid. This may cause an imbalance in your body's electrolytes.

    CO2 levels in the blood are affected by kidney and lung function. The kidneys help maintain the normal bicarbonate levels.

    The normal range is 23-29 mEq/L (milliequivalents per liter).

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

    The example above shows the common measurement rangeof results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

    Abnormal levels may be due to the following problems:

    Lower-than-normal levels

    • Addison disease
    • Diarrhea
    • Ethylene glycol poisoning
    • Ketoacidosis
    • Kidney disease
    • Lactic acidosis
    • Metabolic acidosis
    • Methanol poisoning
    • Salicylate toxicity (such as aspirin overdose)

    Higher-than-normal levels

    • Breathing disorders
    • Cushing syndrome
    • Hyperaldosteronism
    • Vomiting

    The following conditions may also alter bicarbonate levels:

    • Alkalosis
    • Delirium
    • Dementia
    • Renal tubular acidosis; distal
    • Renal tubular acidosis; proximal

    References

    Seifter JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 120.

    BACK TO TOP

          A Closer Look

            Talking to your MD

              Self Care

                Tests for CO2 blood test

                Review Date: 4/29/2013

                Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

                The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
                adam.com

                A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


                Back  |  Top
                About Us
                Contact Us
                History
                Mission
                Locations & Directions
                Quality Reports
                Annual Reports
                Honors & Awards
                Community Health Needs
                Assessment

                Newsroom
                Services
                Brain & Spine
                Cancer
                Heart
                Maternity
                Orthopedics
                Pulmonary
                Sleep Medicine
                Urgent Care
                Women's Services
                All Services
                Patients & Visitors
                Locations & Directions
                Find a Physician
                Tour St. Luke's
                Patient & Visitor Information
                Contact Us
                Payment Options
                Financial Assistance
                Send a Card
                Mammogram Appointments
                Health Tools
                My Personal Health
                mystlukes
                Spirit of Women
                Health Information & Tools
                Clinical Trials
                Health Risk Assessments
                Employer Programs -
                Passport to Wellness

                Classes & Events
                Classes & Events
                Spirit of Women
                Donate & Volunteer
                Giving Opportunities
                Volunteer
                Physicians & Employees
                For Physicians
                Remote Access
                Medical Residency Information
                Pharmacy Residency Information
                Physician CPOE Training
                Careers
                Careers
                St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
                Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile