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Am J Emerg Med. 2005 Jul;23(4):497-500.

The sensitivity of room-air pulse oximetry in the detection of hypercapnia.

Author information

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. mwitt001@umaryland.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the sensitivity of room-air pulse oximetry in the detection of moderate hypercapnia.

METHODS:

In this retrospective case-control study, charts were reviewed from patients with and without moderate hypercapnia (Pa co 2 >50 mm Hg), as determined by analysis of arterial blood gas samples obtained in the ED. Test characteristics (sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios [LR) for room-air pulse oximetry < or = 96% to detect hypercapnia were calculated, as were confidence intervals.

RESULTS:

A total of 349 charts were eligible for abstraction-92 cases and 257 controls. A room-air pulse oximetry reading < or = 96% detected 88 of 92 cases of hypercapnia. Test characteristics were as follows (with 95% confidence interval): sensitivity, 0.96 (0.89-0.99); specificity, 0.39 (0.33-0.45), LR of a room-air pulse oximetry value >96%, 0.1 (0.04-0.3); and LR of a room-air pulse oximetry value < or = 96%, 1.6 (1.4-1.7).

CONCLUSION:

Room-air pulse oximetry detects moderate hypercapnia with high sensitivity.

Comment in

PMID:
16032619
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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