Acid-Base Imbalance as a Risk Factor for Mortality among COVID-19 Hospitalized Patients

Nosayba Al-Azzam, Basheer Khassawneh, Sayer Al-Azzam, Reema Karasneh, Mamoon A Aldeyab

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection can lead to extensive lung infiltrate, a significant increase in the respiratory rate, and respiratory failure, which can affect the acid-base balance. No research in the Middle East has previously examined acid-base imbalance in COVID-19 patients. The present study aimed to describe the acid-base imbalance in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, determine its causes, and assess its impact on mortality in a Jordanian hospital. The study divided patients into 11 groups based on arterial blood gas data. Patients in normal group were defined as having a pH of 7.35-7.45, PaCO2 of 35-45 mmHg, and HCO3- of 21-27 mEq/L. Other patients were divided into 10 additional groups: mixed acidosis and alkalosis, respiratory and metabolic acidosis with or without compensation, and respiratory and metabolic alkalosis with or without compensation. This is the first study to categorize patients in this way. The results showed that acid-base imbalance was a significant risk factor for mortality (P<0.0001). Mixed acidosis nearly quadruples the risk of death when compared with those with normal levels (OR = 3.61, P=0.05). Furthermore, the risk of death was twice as high (OR = 2) for metabolic acidosis with respiratory compensation (P=0.002), respiratory alkalosis with metabolic compensation (P=0.002), or respiratory acidosis with no compensation (P=0.002). In conclusion, acid-base abnormalities, particularly mixed metabolic and respiratory acidosis, were associated with increased mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Clinicians should be aware of the significance of these abnormalities and address their underlying causes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberBSR20222362
Number of pages11
JournalBioscience Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


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