The AaDO2 and venous admixture at varying inspired oxygen concentrations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Critical Care Medicine
J C MithoeferW R Cook


The alveolar to arterial oxygen pressure difference (AaDO2) and pulmonary venous admixture (Qs/Qt) were measured in 32 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease during right heart catheterization at inspired oxygen concentrations (FIO2) of 21, 24, 28, 35, and 40%. Patients without chronic hypercapnia (PaCO2 is less than 45 torr, group A) had Qs/Qt less than 25% while breathing room air; their AaDO2 rose at a rate of 3 torr for each percent increase in FIO2. In those with chronic hypercapnia (PaCO2 greater than 44 torr., (group B), THE Qs/Qt was always greater than 24% during air breathing and the AaDO2 rose at a rate of 5 torr for each percentage increase in FIO2. These changes should be considered in the interpretation of the AaDO2 in patients with COPD in whom the FIO2 is changed during the course of therapy. The Qs/Qt fell curvilinearly with increasing FIO2 but the rates of fall were quantitatively different in groups A and B. A physiological explanation for the changes in Qs/Qt and ADO2 which result from changes in FIO2 is presented.

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