Intestinal ileus as a possible cause of hypobicarbonatemia

Andres Serrano, Rajani K. Chilakapati, Alexander J. Ghanayem, Yemin Yuan, Jeffery Alberts, Cathy Stephen, Giuseppe Rombola, Daniel Batlle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The possible occurrence of metabolic acidosis in patients with intestinal ileus is not well recognized. We describe a patient with acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis and a large transverse colon ileus in which plasma bicarbonate dropped rapidly in the absence of an increase in the plasma anion gap. The urinary anion gap and ammonium excretion were consistent with an appropriate renal response to metabolic acidosis and against the possibility of respiratory alkalosis. The cause of the falling plasma bicarbonate was ascribed to intestinal bicarbonate sequestration owing to the enhancement of chloride-bicarbonate exchange in a dilated paralyzed colon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Jan 22 2007


  • Hypobicarbonatemia
  • Hypokalemia
  • Intestinal bicarbonate secretion
  • Intestinal ileus
  • Metabolic acidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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