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Measuring Human Hemolysis Clinically and in Extreme Environments Using Endogenous Carbon Monoxide Elimination

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The measure of hemolysis in humans is clinically important. Here we describe methods using a gas chromatograph equipped with a reduction gas detector to detect the human analyte carbon monoxide (CO) that were developed for the extreme environment of the International Space Station. These methods can be adapted to in-hospital use for clinical care with characteristics that may surpass existing measures of hemolysis. We demonstrate improved performance over previous-generation methods in terms of reproducibility, accuracy, control for physical and intervening factors to quantitatively assess hemolysis rates at unprecedented levels. The presented measure of hemolysis using CO elimination is based on a different physiological approach that can complement and augment existing detection tools. In addition to their suitability for extreme environments, the methods present distinctive advantages over existing markers for the diagnosis, monitoring and response to treatment of hemolytic anemia. These methods have the potential to fulfill a wide range of research and clinical applications.

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Carbon monoxide


Red blood cell






Mass spectroscopic detection


Gas chromatography


Reduction gas detection


Parts per billion


International Space Station


Stainless steel

Micro-QT valve:

Micro-QT™ Valve to Luer-Lok w/Silonite™, Entech Instruments


Body temperature pressure saturated


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We thank Doug Worthy and Michele Rauh from the Canadian Green House Gases program, Kate Culliton, Theresa Backlund, Odette Laneuville for experimentation with the methods described. This work was supported in part by Canadian Space Agency through Contracts and Grant Numbers 9F053-100597, 9F008-140254 and 15EXPBEDST.

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The authors declare no conflict of interests.

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Correspondence to Guy Trudel.

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Shahin, N., Louati, H. & Trudel, G. Measuring Human Hemolysis Clinically and in Extreme Environments Using Endogenous Carbon Monoxide Elimination. Ann Biomed Eng (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-020-02473-5

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  • Hemolysis
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Methods
  • Human
  • Gas chromatography