Lets say a serum blood test shows bicarbonate of 20mmol/l but an ABG of 15mmol/l, both tests taken 3 minutes apart in a person with acute metabolic acidosis with compensation. Can anyone explain why in simple words? I know bicarbonate is CO2 calculated from all three types: CO2, C2HO3 and HCO3. Is something missing in the venous sample or something else overestimated?

  • Hi and welcome to Medical Sciences. Do you have a reference to show that bicarbonate differs between arterial and venous samples?
    – Chris
    Jan 10 at 1:17

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