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Partial Pressure of Carbon Dioxide (PaC02)


Updated June 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: When you have COPD, your health care provider will most likely want to know what your partial pressure of carbon dioxide, or PaC02, level is. PaC02 is measured by arterial blood gases. Partial pressure refers to the pressure exerted by a specific gas in a mixture of other gases. Partial pressure of carbon dioxide, put simply, is the measurement of carbon dioxide in arterial blood.

Normal PaC02 levels range from 35 to 45 mm Hg. If your PaC02 is higher than 45 mm Hg, then you have too much carbon dioxide in your blood. This is also referred to as hypercapnia. Depending upon how high your levels are, your health care provider may take steps to correct an imbalance.

My doctor measured my partial pressure of carbon dioxide because I was complaining of frequent headaches.

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