Arterial oxygen desaturation during gastrointestinal endoscopy

D. S. Dark, D. R. Campbell, L. J. Wesselius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


This prospective study evaluated the incidence and severity of arterial oxygen desaturation during gastrointestinal endoscopy. Following pulmonary function testing, 115 male patients underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), colonoscopy, or colonoscopy followed by EGD, with continuous recording of arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2). Most patients (80/115, 70%) showed arterial oxygen desaturation (> 4% decrease from baseline SaO2); severe arterial oxygen desaturation (SaO2 ≤ 85%) reflecting hypoxemia (PaO2 ≤ 50 mm Hg) was noted in one-third of patients overall (37/115, 32%). Severe arterial oxygen desaturation occurred in 9/62 EGD patients (15%), 23/46 colonoscopy patients (50%), and 4/7 patients having colonoscopy followed by EGD (57%). Arterial oxygen desaturation occurs frequently during gastrointestinal endoscopy and is often severe. These data support the concept that continuous monitoring of SaO2 should be standard procedure during all gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1321
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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