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Physiol Meas. 2012 Jan;33(1):19-27. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/33/1/19. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Determination of blood volume by pulse CO-oximetry.

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Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine whether changes in carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) saturation following carbon monoxide (CO) rebreathing can be accurately detected by pulse CO-oximetry in order to determine blood volume. Noninvasive measurements of carboxyhaemoglobin saturation (SpCO) were continuously monitored by pulse CO-oximetry before, during and following 2 min of CO rebreathing. Reproducibility and accuracy of noninvasive blood volume measurements were determined in 16 healthy non-smoking individuals (15 males, age: 28 ± 2 years, body mass index: 25.4 ± 0.6 kg m(-2)) through comparison with blood volume measurements calculated from invasive measurements of COHb saturation. The coefficient of variation for noninvasive blood volume measurements performed on separate days was 15.1% which decreases to 9.1% when measurements were performed on the same day. Changes in COHb saturation and SpCO following CO rebreathing were strongly correlated (r = 0.90, p < 0.01), resulting in a significant correlation between invasive and noninvasive blood volume measurements (r = 0.83, p = 0.02). Changes in SpCO following CO rebreathing can be accurately detected by pulse CO-oximetry, which could potentially provide a simplified, convenient and reproducible method to rapidly determine blood volume in healthy individuals.

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