Hemodynamic management of cardiovascular failure by using PCO venous-arterial difference

Dres, Martin; Monnet, Xavier; Teboul, Jean-Louis
October 2012
Journal of Clinical Monitoring & Computing;Oct2012, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p367
Academic Journal
The difference between mixed venous blood carbon dioxide tension (PvCO) and arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO), called ∆PCO has been proposed to better characterize the hemodynamic status. It depends on the global carbon dioxide (CO) production, on cardiac output and on the complex relation between CO tension and CO content. The aim of this review is to detail the physiological background allowing adequate interpretation of ∆PCO at the bedside. Clinical and experimental data support the use of ∆PCO as a valuable help in the decision-making process in patients with hemodynamic instability. The difference between central venous CO tension and arterial CO tension, which is easy to obtain can substitute for ∆PCO to assess the adequacy of cardiac output. Differences between local tissue CO tension and arterial CO tension can also be obtained and provide data on the adequacy of local blood flow to the local metabolic conditions.


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