WHAT IS BICARBONATE TEST?
Bicarbonate is part of the bicarbonate-carbonic acid buffering system and is mainly responsible for regulating the pH of body fluids. It also facilitates the transport of carbon dioxide from the body tissues to the lungs. In the digestive tract, bicarbonate is secreted by the pancreas and liver into the duodenum to neutralise the acid chyme entering from the stomach. Serum bicarbonate levels are approximated from the serum carbon dioxide level minus 1.2 mmol (the average concentration of carbonic acid). More accurate diagnoses regarding the buffering system can be determined by the obtainment of an arterial blood sample for blood gas analysis.