Research Article

Severe hypophosphataemia during recovery from acute respiratory acidosis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 25 August 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:456
  1. T L Storm


    Three elderly patients with established chronic obstructive airways disease were admitted with a short history of increasing dyspnoea and tiredness and (in two cases) a deterioration in mental state. Acute respiratory acidosis was diagnosed and mechanical ventilation instituted. Two hours after beginning mechanical ventilation the mean arterial pH had risen to 7.40, but all patients showed a dramatic fall in the serum phosphate concentration (lowest value 0.3 mmol/l (0.9 mg/100 ml] accompanied by a low urinary excretion of phosphate. No patient could tolerate withdrawal of mechanical ventilation until the serum and urinary concentrations of phosphate had returned to normal. Recovery from acute respiratory acidosis should be added to the list of conditions associated with severe hypophosphataemia.