PMID: 6414398May 1, 1983Paper

Alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient in cardiopulmonary patients breathing ambient air at rest and during exercise

Archivos del Instituto de Cardiología de México
M L Martínez GuerraE Lupi Herrera


The alveolar to arterial difference of oxygen [(A-a)DO2] depends on variables such as ventilation, cardiac output, respiratory exchange ratio and arterial PO2. The arterial PO2 itself depends on the ventilation to perfusion ratio (V/Q) pulmonary shunt, (a-v) O2 difference, and the metabolic status of the patient. When the alveolar-ventilation is normal, the (A-a)DO2 reflects gas exchange abnormalities and when the alveolar-ventilation is increased, the (A-a)DO2 can increase because of a decrease in PaCO2. The factors capable of altering the alveolar to arterial oxygen difference were investigated in ninety patients with pulmonary disease: (pulmonary embolism, lung fibrosis and chronic obstructive lung disease), both at rest and during exercise. At rest when alveolar ventilation was increased, the (A-a)DO2 broadened due to the decrease in PaCO2. During exercise the (A-a)DO2 also increased and the PaCO2 was not significantly modified, therefore admixture it is the result of an increase in the proportion of venous. The difference between the mixed venous and arterial PO2 decreased due to alveolar hypoventilation reducing in consequence the (A-a)DO2. We conclude that in the group studied the increase in the (A-a)DO2 is mainly due t...Continue Reading

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