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Curve analysis of tissue oxygen desaturation after a venous occlusion test does not identify the central venous hemoglobin oxygen saturation

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We aim to compare the time for the equivalence of tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) with central venous hemoglobin oxygen saturation (ScvO2) measured at depths of 15 and 25 mm.


Twenty-one critically ill patients were included. The ScvO2 was measured by blood gas analysis. Thenar StO2 was continuously monitored (Model 650 InSpectra Tissue Spectrometer; Hutchinson Technology Inc., MN, USA) in 15 mm (StO2- 15) and 25 mm (StO2- 25) depths. The venous occlusion was performed using an automatic pneumatic device maintaining inflation pressure 10 mmHg above the diastolic pressure. A StO2 desaturation curve was plotted to identify the time for equivalence to ScvO2.


Age: 59 ± 17 years, APACHE II score: 21 ± 7, SOFA score: 7 ± 4, ScvO2: 75 ± 6%, blood lactate: 1.6 ± 1.2 mmol/l, capillary refill time: 9.1 ± 8.1 seconds, body temperature: 36.7 ± 1.1°C. Measurements were performed for up to three consecutive days (total measurements: 43). In four patients the equivalence was not identified. The curve analysis showed that StO2 desaturation time equivalency for ScvO2 was greater for StO2- 15 than for StO2- 25 (88 ± 54 seconds vs. 79 ± 56 seconds, P < 0.01). The Pearson correlation index for equivalence times for StO2- 15 and StO2- 25 was 0.92 (P < 0.001), but Bland-Altman analysis showed a significant difference between the times (mean difference: StO2_25 - StO2- 25: -7.9 ± 37.8 seconds). An arbitrary time of 80 seconds identifies the ScvO2 in 58% of cases.


The analysis of the StO2 desaturation curve does not adequately identify the hemoglobin central venous oxygen saturation.


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Correspondence to G Friedman.

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Friedman, G., Alan, C., Meregalli, A. et al. Curve analysis of tissue oxygen desaturation after a venous occlusion test does not identify the central venous hemoglobin oxygen saturation. Crit Care 16, P257 (2012).

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  • Tissue Oxygen
  • Venous Occlusion
  • Sofa Score
  • Occlusion Test
  • Capillary Refill