Transcutaneous PO2: Principle, Use, Clinical Experience, and Limitations of the Technique
In the transcutaneous measurement technique, the PO2 is polarographically determined on the intact skin after hyperemia has been induced in the local skin-capillary region. The objective of the method is to determine the arterial PO2 level and its changes. Experimental and clinical experiences have shown that the necessary stimulation of the local skin blood flow is best achieved by local hyperthermia. The PO2 electrode was thus combined with a heater, which both heated the skin and served as a thermostat for the electrode. This provides a possiblity for measuring, along with the skin PO2 value, the amount of heat required to maintain a constant electrode core temperature against the cooling blood flow as a relative measure of blood flow in the skin . It has been proved, that, for example, the capillary blood in the ear lobe, the fingertip, or the ankle in both adults and newborns represents arterial blood gas conditions after hyperemia has been induced. However, it is not realistic to expect transcutaneous and arterial oxygen partial pressures to be identical. This is because the factors influencing the trancutaneous PO2 measurement are far too numerous. An explanation of each factor follows.
KeywordsCyanotic Congenital Heart Disease Binding Curve Local Hyperthermia Hyperbaric Chamber Arterial Oxygen Partial Pressure
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