Accuracy of Methemoglobin Detection by Pulse CO-Oximetry During Hypoxia

Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California at San Francisco, 521 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94143-0648, USA.
Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.47). 12/2009; 111(1):143-8. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181c91bb6
Source: PubMed


Methemoglobin in the blood cannot be detected by conventional pulse oximetry, although it can bias the oximeter's estimate (Spo2) of the true arterial functional oxygen saturation (Sao2). A recently introduced "Pulse CO-Oximeter" (Masimo Rainbow SET(R) Radical-7 Pulse CO-Oximeter, Masimo Corp., Irvine, CA) is intended to additionally monitor noninvasively the fractional carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin content in blood. The purpose of our study was to determine whether hypoxia affects the new device's estimated methemoglobin reading accuracy, and whether the presence of methemoglobin impairs the ability of the Radical-7 and a conventional pulse oximeter (Nonin 9700, Nonin Medical Inc., Plymouth, MN) to detect decreases in Sao2.
Eight and 6 healthy adults were included in 2 study groups, respectively, each fitted with multiple sensors and a radial arterial catheter for blood sampling. In the first group, IV administration of approximately 300 mg sodium nitrite increased subjects' methemoglobin level to a 7% to 8% target and hypoxia was induced to different levels of Sao2 (70%-100%) by varying fractional inspired oxygen. In the second group, 15% methemoglobin at room air and 80% Sao2 were targeted. Pulse CO-oximeter readings were compared with arterial blood values measured using a Radiometer multiwavelength hemoximeter. Pulse CO-oximeter methemoglobin reading performance was analyzed by observing the incidence of meaningful reading errors at the various hypoxia levels. This was used to determine the impact on predictive values for detecting methemoglobinemia. Spo2 reading bias, precision, and root mean square error were evaluated during conditions of elevated methemoglobin.
Observations spanned 66.2% to 99% Sao2 and 0.6% to 14.4% methemoglobin over the 2 groups (170 blood draws). Masimo methemoglobin reading bias and precision over the full Sao2 span was 7.7% +/- 13.0%. Best accuracy was found in the 95% to 100% Sao2 range (1.9% +/- 2.5%), progressing to its worst in the 70% to 80% range (24.8% +/- 15.6%). Occurrence of methemoglobin readings in error >5% increased over each 5-point decrease in Sao2 (P < 0.05). Masimo Spo2 readings were biased -6.3% +/- 3.0% in the 95% to 100% Sao2 range with 4% to 8.3% methemoglobin. Both the Radical-7 and Nonin 9700 pulse oximeters accurately detected decreases in Sao(2) <90% with 4% to 15% methemoglobin, despite displaying low Spo2 readings when Sao2 was >95%.
The Radical-7's methemoglobin readings become progressively more inaccurate as Sao2 decreases <95%, at times overestimating true values by 10% to 40%. Elevated methemoglobin causes the Spo2 readings to underestimate Sao2 similar to conventional 2-wavelength pulse oximeters at high saturation. Spo2 readings from both types of instruments continue to trend downward during the development of hypoxemia (Sao2 <90%) with methemoglobin levels up to 15%.

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    • "However, the non-invasive measurement was rapid and easy to perform and studies have confirmed that the method appears to be reliable as a screening tool for measuring MetHb and COHb [29,30,34]. Thus, apart from testing the haemolysis/methaemoglobin/haem hypothesis, further studies in different populations might be useful to assess if the non-invasive measurement of MetHb might not be an adjuvant tool for prognosis determination in resource-poor settings. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Haemolytic conditions may contribute to disease pathogenesis and severe clinical manifestations through the liberation of free haemoglobin (Hb) and production of toxic free haem. Thus, free Hb and haem should be associated with altered MetHb and COHb levels in malaria as in other conditions. Methods This study comprises data collected at three different sites: (i) a retrospective analysis of the first arterial blood gas result (ABGS) of any patient during 2010 at the University Hospital in Lisbon; (ii) a retrospective analysis of ABGS from patients with severe malaria admitted to the intensive care unit in Berlin, Germany; and (iii) a prospective study of non-invasive MetHb measurements in children with and without malaria in Lambaréné, Gabon. Results In Lisbon, the mean MetHb level was 1.4% (SD: 0.5) in a total of 17,834 ABGS. Only 11 of 98 samples with a MetHb level of >3.0 referred to infections. COHb levels showed no particular association with clinical conditions, including sepsis. In 13 patients with severe malaria in Berlin, the mean MetHb levels on admission was 1.29%, with 1.36% for cerebral malaria and 1.14% for non-cerebral malaria (P > 0.05). All COHb measurements were below 2.3%. In Lambaréné, Gabon, 132 healthy children had a mean MetHb level of 1.57%, as compared to 150 children with malaria, with a value of 1.77% and 2.05% in uncomplicated and complicated cases, respectively (P < 0.01). Conclusions The data appears consistent with the methaemoglobin/haem hypothesis in malaria and sepsis pathogenesis. However, although MetHb was significantly different between healthy controls and children with malaria in Africa, the difference was rather small, also when compared to previous studies. Still, non-invasive bedside MetHb testing may warrant further evaluation as it could be a simple adjuvant tool for prognosis in resource poor settings.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Malaria Journal

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2010 · Anesthesia and analgesia
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical studies demonstrate that anemia increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. Tissue hypoxia is an attractive but incompletely characterized candidate mechanism of anemia-induced organ injury. Physiological responses that optimize tissue oxygen delivery (nitric oxide synthase-NOS) and promote cellular adaptation to tissue hypoxia (hypoxia inducible factor-HIF) may reduce the risk of hypoxic organ injury and thereby improve survival during anemia. The presence of vascular diseases would likely impair the efficacy of these physiological mechanisms, increasing the risk of anemia-induced organ injury. In all cases, biological signals that indicate the activation of these adaptive mechanisms could provide an early and treatable warning signal of impending anemia-induced organ injury. Thus, we review the evidence for tissue hypoxia during acute hemodilutional anemia and also explore the novel hypothesis that methemoglobin, a measurable byproduct of increased NOS-derived nitric oxide (NO), may serve as a biomarker for "anemic stress". Published peer-reviewed studies provided the main source of information. Data from experimental studies were reassessed to derive the relationship between hemodilution (reduced hemoglobin concentration) and increased methemoglobin levels. Active physiological mechanisms (sympathetic nervous system) are required to maintain optimal tissue oxygen delivery during hemodilutional anemia. Despite these responses, tissue hypoxia occurs during acute hemodilution, as demonstrated by a decrease in tissue PO(2) and an increase in hypoxic cellular responses (NOS, HIF). Optimal tissue oxygen delivery may be compromised further when cardiovascular responses are impaired. The positive correlation between decreased hemoglobin concentration (Hb) and an increase in methemoglobin levels in acutely anemic animals supports the hypothesis that anemia-induced increases in tissue NOS activity could promote methemoglobin formation. Methemoglobin may be a measurable byproduct of NO-mediated Hb oxidation. Evidence continues to demonstrate that anemia increases morbidity and mortality, possibly via hypoxic mechanisms. A potential strategy for assessing "anemic stress" was derived from experimental data based on a readily measurable biomarker, methemoglobin. New methods for measuring real-time hemoglobin and methemoglobin levels in patients may provide the basis to translate this idea into clinical practice. Further mechanistic studies are required to determine if the impact of reduced tissue oxygen delivery and activation of hypoxic cellular mechanism can be linked to measurable changes in biomarkers and clinical outcomes in acutely anemic patients.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2010 · Canadian Anaesthetists? Society Journal
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