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Clin Chem. 1993 Aug;39(8):1693-700.

Measurement of carboxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin by five specialized spectrophotometers (CO-oximeters) in comparison with reference methods.

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  • 1Department of Pulmonary Physiology, Stanford University Hospital, CA 94305.


We measured total hemoglobin (CtHb) and carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) in 100 patients' blood samples by using five specialized spectrophotometers (CO-oximeters)--IL 482 CO-Oximeter, Corning 2500 CO-oximeter, Radiometer OSM 3 Hemoximeter, Corning 270 CO-oximeter, and the AVL 912 CO-Oxylite--and compared the results with those obtained with the manual cyanmethemoglobin method and a gas-chromatographic (GC) method, respectively. For the CtHb measurements, the differences between the cyanmethemoglobin method and the CO-oximeters were not clinically important for any model. For the blood COHb measurements, the direction of the bias relative to GC was dependent on COHb concentration. In general, the CO-oximeters underestimated COHb concentration for COHb > 2.5% of total hemoglobin but overestimated COHb concentration for COHb < or = 2.5%. We conclude that all five CO-oximeters compared favorably with the reference methods for CtHb and for high concentrations of COHb. However, the inaccuracy of CO-oximeters for low-concentration (< or = 2.5%) COHb measurements may make these instruments unsuitable for some applications.

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