Jaundice pp 103-127 | Cite as

Carbon Monoxide Production as a Measurement of Heme Catabolism

  • Stephen A. Landaw
Part of the Hepatology book series (H, volume 2)


During the Second World War, Sweden was obliged to use producer gas in place of gasoline for automobile propulsion, and many cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning resulted. While studying CO levels in blood and expired air in affected and control patients, Sjöstrand noted that CO was produced endogenously in normal subjects, and that subjects with increased heme turnover showed increased CO production. These early studies, which have been summarized elsewhere (1) suggested that 1 mole of CO was produced for each mole of heme degraded in vitro and in vivo. Twenty years later, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania were able to confirm and amplify Sjöstrand’s original observations in a large series of publications. Over the past 10 years, additional laboratories have become interested in the measurement of endogenous CO production. While, in general, measurement of endogenous CO production is still a research procedure not available outside large teaching institutions, it has become recognized as perhaps the most accurate measure of heme catabolism now available. Coburn has recently reviewed the progress and significance of research in endogenous CO production (2).


Late Peak Bile Pigment Ineffective Erythropoiesis Heme Catabolism Endogenous Carbon 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen A. Landaw
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Administration HospitalSyracuseUSA

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