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MCAT Question A Day - 8/12/14 - Answer!

Alkalosis is increased blood pH resulting in a leftward shift of the oxy hemoglobin dissociation curve. Which of the following might cause alkalosis?

A.  hypoventilation
B.  hyperventilation
C.  breathing into a paper bag
D.  adrenal steroid insufficiency

B is correct. Hyperventilation results in loss of CO2leading to lower concentrations of carbonic acid in the blood, and an increase in pH. Hypoventilation would result in the reverse. Breathing into bag would increase the CO2 content of the air and lead to acidosis. Excess aldosterone may lead tmetabolic alkalosis due to hydrogen ion exchange in the kidney.

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