Skeletal muscle gas tension: Indicator of cardiac output and peripheral tissue perfusion

Akira Furuse, Robert K. Brawley, Edwin Struve, Vincent L. Gott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A mass spectrometer technique was utilized to measure Po2 and Pco2 levels in skeletal muscle and right atrial blood of animals subjected to various types and degrees of shock and in patients having open-heart surgery. In animals during the control state, skeletal muscle Po2 levels remained relatively stable when arterial Po2 was varied through a wide range. In contrast, skeletal muscle Pco2 levels changed almost linearly with arterial Pco2 levels. During periods of experimentally induced low cardiac output, skeletal muscle Po2 decreased almost proportionally to decreases in cardiac output, but skeletal muscle Pco2 levels increased only when cardiac output was reduced by more than 40 percent of control. There was a reasonably good correlation between right atrial Po2 levels and changes in cardiac output. Although Pco2 levels in skeletal muscle and right atrial blood provided a good index of arterial CO2 tension and respiratory function, they were less helpful as an index of tissue perfusion. Skeletal muscle Po2 levels obtained in patients monitored during operation and in the postoperative period appeared to reflect the adequacy of peripheral tissue perfusion and were not markedly affected by arterial Po2 levels. These studies demonstrate that skeletal muscle Po2 levels, as determined by a mass spectrometer, provide an excellent index of peripheral tissue perfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-222
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1973


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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