The pCO2 is the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (CO2) in arterial blood. It is also represented as PaCO2. Expresses the effectiveness of alveolar ventilation, given the diffusing capacity of the gas. It is a good indicator of respiratory function and reflects the amount of acid in the blood (without lactic acid).
- Its normal values range from 35-45 mmHg.
- If the pCO2 is less than 35 mmHg, the patient is hyperventilating, and if the pH (potential hydrogen) is greater than 7.45, corresponding to a respiratory alkalosis.
- If the pCO2 is higher than 45 mmHg, the patient is hypoventilating, and if the pH is less than 7.35, is a respiratory acidosis.