Transcutaneous PO2 and Local Perfusion in Healthy Adults, Artificially Ventilated Patients with Stable Circulation, and Patients in Cardiogenic Shock
Transcutaneous (tc) PO2 measurement is possible because oxygen from the skin capillaries can diffuse through the intact skin. The heated electrode produces maximum local dilatation of the vessels directly under the sensor. When circulation is stable with optimum peripheral perfusion pressure, maximum dilatation results in maximum blood flow increase at the measuring site. Under such conditions, the tcPO2 is close to the arterial PO2 (PaO2) or the quotient tcPO2/PaO2 is close to 1 . Various studies have shown that during shock the tcPO2/PaO2 quotient drops considerably, according to the severity of the shock. When normal circulatory conditions are restored, the tcPO2/PaO2 value returns to normal values close to 1 [2, 3]. This phenomenon is probably brought on by the decrease in the peripheral blood flow caused by the reduced perfusion pressure, vasoconstriction, and shunt diffusion of O2 from the venous capillary limb to the arterial limb .
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