Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Anaesth. 2000 Sep;85(3):456-9.

Within-breath arterial PO2 oscillations in an experimental model of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Infirmary, UK.


Tidal ventilation causes within-breath oscillations in alveolar oxygen concentration, with an amplitude which depends on the prevailing ventilator settings. These alveolar oxygen oscillations are transmitted to arterial oxygen tension, PaO2, but with an amplitude which now depends upon the magnitude of venous admixture or true shunt, QS/QT. We investigated the effect of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) on the amplitude of the PaO2 oscillations, using an atelectasis model of shunt. Blood PaO2 was measured on-line with an intravascular PaO2 sensor, which had a 2-4 s response time (10-90%). The magnitude of the time-varying PaO2 oscillation was titrated against applied PEEP while tidal volume, respiratory rate and inspired oxygen concentration were kept constant. The amplitude of the PaO2 oscillation, delta PaO2, and the mean PaO2 value varied with the level of PEEP applied. At zero PEEP, both the amplitude and the mean were at their lowest values. As PEEP was increased to 1.5 kPa, both delta PaO2 and the mean PaO2 increased to a maximum. Thereafter, the mean PaO2 increased but delta PaO2 decreased. Clear oscillations of PaO2 were seen even at the lowest mean PaO2, 9.5 kPa. Conventional respiratory models of venous admixture predict that these PaO2 oscillations will be reduced by the steep part of the oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve if a constant pulmonary shunt exists throughout the whole respiratory cycle. The facts that the PaO2 oscillations occurred at all mean PaO2 values and that their amplitude increased with increasing PEEP suggest that QS/QT, in the atelectasis model, varies between end-expiration and end-inspiration, having a much lower value during inspiration than during expiration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk