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Cardiol Res Pract. 2012;2012:370697. doi: 10.1155/2012/370697. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Should We Monitor ScVO(2) in Critically Ill Patients?

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Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Hospital Lariboisière 75475, Paris, France.


Hemodynamic monitoring has become a real challenge in the intensive care unit. As an integrative parameter for oxygen supply/demand, venous oxygen saturation (SvO(2)) provided by pulmonary artery catheterization is one of the most popular parameters to assess the adequacy of cardiac output. However, technical limitations and potential iatrogenic complications constitute important limits for a widespread use. Regular central venous catheters coupled with a fiberoptic lumen for central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO(2)) monitoring have been proposed as a surrogate for SvO(2) monitoring. The purpose of the present article is to review the physiological backgrounds of circulation, the pathophysiology of circulatory failure and subsequent venous oxygen saturation alterations, and finally the merits and the limits of the use of ScvO(2) in different clinical situations.

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