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Vet Res. 2002 May-Jun;33(3):283-90.

Blood oxygen binding in hypoxaemic calves.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Li├Ęge, Belgium.


Blood oxygen transport and tissue oxygenation were studied in 28 calves from the Belgian White and Blue breed (20 healthy and 8 hypoxaemic ones). Hypoxaemic calves were selected according to their high respiratory frequency and to their low partial oxygen pressure (PaO2) in the arterial blood. Venous and arterial blood samples were collected, and 2,3-diphosphoglycerate, adenosine triphosphate, chloride, inorganic phosphate and hemoglobin concentrations, and pH, PCO, and PO2 were determined. An oxygen equilibrium curve (OEC) was measured in standard conditions, for each animal. The arterial and venous OEC were calculated, taking body temperature, pH and PCO2 values in arterial and venous blood into account. The oxygen exchange fraction (OEF%), corresponding to the degree of blood desaturation between the arterial and the venous compartments, and the amount of oxygen released at the tissue level by 100 mL of blood (OEF Vol%) were calculated from the arterial and venous OEC combined with the PO2 and hemoglobin concentration. In hypoxaemic calves investigated in this study, the hemoglobin oxygen affinity, measured under standard conditions, was not modified. On the contrary, in vivo acidosis and hypercapnia induced a decrease in the hemoglobin oxygen affinity in arterial blood, which combined to the decrease in PaO2 led to a reduced hemoglobin saturation degree in the arterial compartment. However, this did not impair the oxygen exchange fraction (OEF%), since the hemoglobin saturation degree in venous blood was also diminished.

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