MICU Education

University of Pittsburgh

Acid-Base and ABG Interpretation

One of the pet peeves of rounding in ICU is to interpret ABG.


Here is a step-by-step approach to acid base and ABG interpretation:

  Acid Base and ABG Interpretations    

Additional Reading

For a more in-depth description of approaches to acid-base and ABGs, refer to these excellent reviews in NEJM:

Tool for Practice

There is also ABG generator to practice some ABGs.

  Acid Base Generator Solver

What should you be able to answer after reviewing this topic?


  1. Seifter JL. Integration of acid-base and electrolyte disorders. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2014; 371:1821-1831.

  2. Berend K, de Vries AP, Gans RO. Physiological approach to assessment of acid-base disturbances. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2014; 371:1434-1445.