Laboratory assessment of oxygenation in methemoglobinemia.
ABSTRACT This case conference reviews laboratory methods for assessing oxygenation status: arterial blood gases, pulse oximetry, and CO-oximetry. Caveats of these measurements are discussed in the context of two methemoglobinemia cases.
Case 1 is a woman who presented with increased shortness of breath, productive cough, chest pain, nausea, fever, and cyanosis. CO-oximetry indicated a carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) fraction of 24.9%. She was unresponsive to O(2) therapy, and no source of carbon monoxide could be noted. Case 2 is a man who presented with syncope, chest tightness, and signs of cyanosis. His arterial blood was dark brown, and CO-oximetry showed a methemoglobin (MetHb) fraction of 23%.
Oxygen saturation (So(2)) can be measured by three approaches that are often used interchangeably, although the measured systems are quite different. Pulse oximetry is a noninvasive, spectrophotometric method to determine arterial oxygen saturation (S(a)O(2)). CO-oximetry is a more complex and reliable method that measures the concentration of hemoglobin derivatives in the blood from which various quantities such as hemoglobin derivative fractions, total hemoglobin, and saturation are calculated. Blood gas instruments calculate the estimated O(2) saturation from empirical equations using pH and Po(2) values. In most patients, the results from these methods will be virtually identical, but in cases of increased dyshemoglobin fractions, including methemoglobinemia, it is crucial that the distinctions and limitations of these methods be understood.
So(2) calculated from pH and Po(2) should be interpreted with caution as the algorithms used assume normal O(2) affinity, normal 2,3-diphosphoglycerate concentrations, and no dyshemoglobins or hemoglobinopathies. CO-oximeter reports should include the dyshemoglobin fractions in addition to the oxyhemoglobin fraction. In cases of increased MetHb fraction, pulse oximeter values trend toward 85%, underestimating the actual oxygen saturation. Hemoglobin M variants may yield normal MetHb and increased COHb or sulfhemoglobin fractions measured by CO-oximetry.
Article: Anesthetic experience of methemoglobinemia detected during general anesthesia for gastrectomy of advanced gastric cancer -A case report-.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Methemoglobinemia is an uncommon but potentially fatal disorder. Most cases have no adverse clinical consequence and require no treatment, but methemoglobinemia is often overlooked as a cause of low oxygen saturation, and often mistaken for the more common causes of hypoxia by anesthesiologists despite simple bedside tests that indicate the presence of this treatable abnormality. We present a 68-year-old female patient who underwent gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer with bleeding. In the preoperative period, the patient showed cyanosis and oxygen saturation was 85% by pulse oximeter, but oxygen saturation by arterial blood gas analysis was 100%. After tracheal intubation, the methemoglobin level was 18.3%. Ascorbic acid and methylene blue were administered. During preanesthetic evaluation, the patient had not informed the anesthesiologist that she had been taking dapsone.Korean journal of anesthesiology 11/2010; 59(5):340-3.