Carbon Dioxide Transport in Blood

Author: Nigel P F X Harrison / Editor: Adrian Boyle / Reviewer: James Ward / Codes: A2, PP2, R1 / Published: 08/10/2018

Before commencing this session you should:

  • Have an appreciation of some common pathological conditions and the manner in which they affect the carriage of gases and thus the normal physiological equilibrium of the body


This session will familiarise you with the important aspects of the transport and exchange of carbon dioxide.

After completing this session you will be able to:

  • Explain the transport of carbon dioxide in blood
  • Recognise the modalities of carriage of carbon dioxide in blood including the Haldane effect
  • Explain the pulmonary influences on acid-base homeostasis and processes that destabilise the normal equilibrium in clinical disease
  • Identify the effect of hypercarbia and hypocarbia in symptomatology and disease
  • Apply the important equations involving carbon dioxide in biological structures


  1. Guyton AC, Hall JE. Textbook of Medical Physiology. WB Saunders Company, 2000.
  2. Geers C, Gros G. Carbon dioxide transport and carbonic anhydrase in blood and muscle. Physiol Rev 2000;80:681-715. View abstract
  3. Ward J, Clark, R et al. Physiology at a Glance. Wiley Blackwell, 2000.
  4. West JB. Respiratory Physiology, the Essentials. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2000.
  5. Wilson I, editor. Update in anaesthesia: respiratory physiology. 12:11, Publications Committee WFSA, UK, 2000.

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