Variability of indices of hypoxemia in adult respiratory distress syndrome

Critical Care Medicine
M S Gowda, R A Klocke


To determine the usefulness of indices of hypoxemia in assessing patients with the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Retrospective analysis of previously published data that describe the distributions of ventilation and pulmonary blood flow in ARDS. University research laboratory. Sixteen patients with ARDS. The FIO2 was varied between 0.21 and 1.0 in a computer model of gas exchange, based on a 50-compartment model of ventilation/perfusion inhomogeneity plus true shunt and deadspace. The indices of hypoxemia that were calculated as a function of inspired oxygen concentration included PaO2/FIO2, arterial/alveolar ratio (PaO2/alveolar PO2), the alveolar-arterial PO2 difference (P[A-a]O2), respiratory index (P[A-a]O2/PaO2), and venous admixture. The PaO2/FIO2 ratio in patients with moderate shunts (< 30%) varied considerably with alteration in FIO2. At both extremes of FIO2, the PaO2/FIO2 in these patients was substantially greater than at intermediate FIO2. Patients with larger shunts (> 30%) had greater PaO2/FIO2 ratios at low FIO2, but the PaO2/FIO2 ratios decreased to relatively stable values at FIO2 values of > 0.5. In all patients, PaO2/FIO2 remained relatively stable at FIO2 values of > or = 0.5 and PaO2 values o...Continue Reading


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