A review of the experimental evidence on the toxicokinetics of carbon monoxide: the potential role of pathophysiology among susceptible groups

Environmental Health : a Global Access Science Source
Prabjit BarnTom Kosatsky


Acute high level carbon monoxide (CO) exposure can cause immediate cardio-respiratory arrest in anyone, but the effects of lower level exposures in susceptible persons are less well known. The percentage of CO-bound hemoglobin in blood (carboxyhemoglobin; COHb) is a marker of exposure and potential health outcomes. Indoor air quality guidelines developed by the World Health Organization and Health Canada, among others, are set so that CO exposure does not lead to COHb levels above 2.0%, a target based on experimental evidence on toxicodynamic relationships between COHb and cardiac performance among persons with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The guidelines do not consider the role of pathophysiological influences on toxicokinetic relationships. Physiological deficits that contribute to increased CO uptake, decreased CO elimination, and increased COHb formation can alter relationships between CO exposures and resulting COHb levels, and consequently, the severity of outcomes. Following three fatalities attributed to CO in a long-term care facility (LTCF), we queried whether pathologies other than CVD could alter CO-COHb relationships. Our primary objective was to inform susceptibility-specific modeling that accounts for physiologi...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Carbon Monoxide
Carboxyhemoglobin C
Disease Susceptibility
Environmental Exposure
Air Pollution, Indoor
Biological Markers
Carbon Monoxide

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