The pulse oxygen saturation: Inspired oxygen pressure (SpO2:P1O2) diagram: Application in the ambulatory assessment of pulmonary vascular disease

Neil M Skjodt, Christian Ritz, Dilini Vethanayagam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Background: The inspired oxygen to pulse saturation (SpO2:P 1O2) curve mirrors the oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve but is shifted to the right by the difference between inspired and alveolar oxygen fractions. Inspection of the curve has been used to discern changes in shunt. 

Aims: We aimed to demonstrate the SpO2: P1O2 curve's quantification using readily available software, and its clinical utility in assessing ambulatory patients. 

Methods: Six normal and seven hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) clinic patients have been studied. After measuring barometric pressure, seated subjects were monitored with finger probe pulse oximetry while breathing increasing fractions of humidified oxygen through a Venturi mask until either their SpO2 or P1O2 was 100%. Resulting SpO2 and P1O2 values were plotted, fitted, assessed for goodness-of-fit and compared using the free, open source nonlinear regression extension package drc for the R programming language whose accuracy was also tested against two NIST reference sigmoidal curve datasets. 

Results: All reference, individual and collected normal results were well fitted by the drc software with highly insignificant goodness-of-fit F tests. The laboratory normal curve was identically fitted by symmetrical Hill and asymmetrical Weibull functions. Although normal and negative HHT screening patient curves did not differ, there were significant differences between normal, pre-treatment (shunt fraction 9.44%), and post-treatment HHT curves. 

Conclusion: Nonlinear regression analysis of the SpO2:P1O2 curve permits valid, simple, safe, noninvasive, sensitive and cheap estimation of shunt in ambulatory patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegration in Respiratory Control : From Genes to Systems
EditorsMarc J Poulin, Richard J A Wilson
Number of pages5
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
Publication date2008
ISBN (Print)9780387736921
ISBN (Electronic)9780387736938
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventOxford Conference on Modeling and Control of Breathing: Integration in Respiratory Control: From Genes to Systems - Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise, Alberta, United States
Duration: 19. Sept 200624. Sept 2006


ConferenceOxford Conference on Modeling and Control of Breathing
LocationFairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Louise, Alberta
SeriesAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology


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