Thomas A. Dillard, MD
To the Editor: The recent letter by Hansen (1) made an interesting argument that favored ingestion of carbohydrates by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease before air travel. The argument contended that by raising the respiratory exchange ratio (R) with carbohydrate ingestion, alveolar and arterial oxygen partial pressures would increase. This appealing argument was based on assumptions that require clarification and examination for applicability to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In the calculations of paragraph 2 of his letter, Hansen assumed that alveolar pCO2 and, implicitly, arterial pCO2 remained constant at 40 mm Hg, with varying respiratory exchange ratios
Dillard TA. Dietary Carbohydrate, Alveolar Gas, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Ann Intern Med. ;112:309–310. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-4-309_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(4):309-310.
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