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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1987 Aug;63(2):820-7.

Percent carboxyhemoglobin in resting humans exposed repeatedly to 1,500 and 7,500 ppm CO.

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  • 1Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine, Downsview, Ontario, Canada.


Eleven nonsmoking male resting subjects were exposed to two transient CO profiles to examine whether the resultant carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) differs with CO concentration for a fixed total CO dose and to determine the predictive capability of the theoretical model of Coburn et al. (J. Clin. Invest. 44: 1899-1910, 1965) using measured alveolar ventilation. One profile consisted of five sequential exposures to 1,500 ppm CO for 5 min each and spaced 3 min apart. The other consisted of five sequential exposures to 7,500 ppm CO for 1 min each and spaced 7 min apart. The subjects, therefore, were exposed to the same overall nominal dose of 37,500 ppm.min. During the experiment, the subject's ventilatory functions and respiratory gases were recorded continuously, and the resultant HbCO% was measured in venous blood samples by gas chromatography. Mean increase (+/- SD) in HbCO% per exposure was 2.08 +/- 0.27% for the 1,500 ppm CO exposures and 2.05 +/- 0.29% for the 7,500 ppm CO exposures with no significant difference between the two. When the measured values of the subject's alveolar ventilation were applied to the theoretical model of Coburn et al., the predicted rate of HbCO% formation was found to agree with the experimental results.

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