Relationship Between Venous and Arterial Carboxyhemoglobin Levels in Patients With Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Michael Touger, E. John Gallagher, Jim Tyrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations


Study objective: To test the hypothesis that venous carboxyhemoglobin (V-COHb) levels accurately predict arterial (A-COHb) levels. Design: Prospective comparison of A-COHb and V-COHb levels in patients with suspected carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Setting: Municipal hospital emergency department with contiguous multiplace hyperbaric chamber staffed 24 hours a day. Participants: Unselected convenience sample of 61 adults with suspected CO toxicity. Intervention: Simultaneous sampling of arterial and venous blood. Results: Correlation between V-COHb and A-COHb showed an r value of .99 (95%CI, .99 to .99), and an r2 value of .98. Agreement between V-COHb and A-COHb levels was examined by use of a plot of arteriovenous differences against the mean of the two measurements. The mean arteriovenous difference was .15% COHb (95%CI, .13% to .45%), with 95% of the differences ranging from 2.4% COHb to 2.1% COHb. Conclusion: Venous COHb levels predict arterial levels with a high degree of accuracy. Patients with suspected CO poisoning can be screened with the use of venous blood, without the need for arterial puncture. [Touger M, Gallagher EJ, Tyrell J: Relationship between venous and arterial carboxyhemoglobin levels in patients with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. Ann Emerg Med April 1995;25:481-483.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-483
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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