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Serum Bicarbonate Test

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Bicarbonate Test Overview

The Bicarbonate is used to diagnose an electrolyte imbalance, or a pH imbalance otherwise called as acid-base imbalance. Bicarbonate test is ordered with other test as part of the electrolyte panel or metabolic panel.

Bicarbonate is an important electrolyte and plays a key role in the body's acid-base balance. It acts as a buffer, helping to regulate the pH level of the blood and maintain overall metabolic function.

Bicarbonate also helps to regulate the acidity of other body fluids, such as urine, and is involved in other metabolic processes, such as the transport of carbon dioxide from the body's tissues to the lungs.

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Written by: Supriya Kulkarni, Lead-Content & Training

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Serum Bicarbonate Test Price

Metropolis Healthcare is a leading diagnostics centre and pathology lab in India equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies that provides the Serum Bicarbonate Test with a clear pricing structure.

The Serum Bicarbonate Test Price in Mumbai is ₹ 710 .

We are committed to deliver accurate and quality results from the best labs in India with complete transparency regarding test cost and turnaround time. No matter where you are, we strive to offer patients high-quality service that is affordable and accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unexplained weakness and fatigue, prolonged nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and even difficulty breathing may be signs of an acid base imbalance.

Bicarbonate test may be ordered for a routine health check-up or part of an electrolyte panel to diagnose any underlying conditions. Typically, an electrolyte panel consists of other tests like sodium, chloride, and potassium. The most important reason why an electrolyte panel may be ordered is to check for an acid-base imbalance in the body. And this may happen if there are kidney diseases, liver disease, lung disorders and sometimes even with unchecked high blood pressure levels.

The body needs to maintain a healthy acid-base or a healthy pH. A healthy ph is achieved primarily by the function of kidneys and lungs. Sometime the pH imbalance is a respiratory problem due to the amount of oxygen coming in and Co2 going out. Sometimes the reason is metabolic because the kidney is unbale to remove acid from the body.

Bicarbonate is an electrolyte, a negatively charged ion that is used by the body to help maintain the body's acid-base (pH) balance. It also works with the other electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride) to maintain electrical neutrality at the cellular level. Bicarbonate test measures the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood, which occurs mostly in the form of bicarbonate (HCO3-). The CO2 is mainly a by-product of various metabolic processes.

  • The bicarbonate test is often included as part of a routine blood panel and is commonly used to help diagnose and monitor a range of medical conditions, including:
  • Respiratory and metabolic acidosis
  • Kidney disease, and
  • Certain types of poisoning
  • The test may also be ordered to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for these conditions.


The bicarbonate (HCO3-) biochemical serum test is a blood test that measures the level of bicarbonate in the blood.

This test requires a blood sample. A tourniquet (elastic) band is placed tightly on the upper arm. The patient is then asked to make a fist. This helps in the build-up of blood filling the veins. The skin is disinfected before needle insertion and the blood sample is collected in a vacutainer.


  • If the results of the bicarbonate biochemical serum test are abnormal, this may indicate an underlying medical condition that affects the body's acid-base balance.
  • If the bicarbonate levels are too high, this may indicate metabolic alkalosis, which is a condition characterized by a high pH level in the blood. This can be caused by a number of factors, including prolonged vomiting, excessive use of diuretics or antacids, or certain kidney disorders.
  • If the bicarbonate levels are too low, this may indicate metabolic acidosis, which is a condition characterized by a low pH level in the blood. This can be caused by a range of underlying medical conditions, including uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease, or severe dehydration.

In general, no specific preparations are required before a bicarbonate test. However, it is important to follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the laboratory in order to ensure accurate and reliable test results.


The bicarbonate test is a common blood test that is often included as part of a routine blood panel, particularly if you are being evaluated for certain medical conditions or are experiencing certain symptoms. Some symptoms that may indicate the need for a bicarbonate test include:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • Unexplained fatigue or weakness
  • Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations
  • Nausea or abdominal pain

These symptoms can be indicative of a range of medical conditions that affect the body's acid-base balance, such as metabolic acidosis or alkalosis. A healthcare provider may order a bicarbonate test as part of a diagnostic workup to help determine the underlying cause of these symptoms.


Normal bicarbonate levels in the blood typically range from 22 to 28 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).


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