Determination of blood volume by pulse CO-oximetry

S. Lalande, J. W. Kelsey, M. J. Joyner, B. D. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine whether changes in carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) saturation following carbon monoxide (CO) rebreathing can be accurately detected by pulse CO-oximetry in order to determine blood volume. Noninvasive measurements of carboxyhaemoglobin saturation (SpCO) were continuously monitored by pulse CO-oximetry before, during and following 2 min of CO rebreathing. Reproducibility and accuracy of noninvasive blood volume measurements were determined in 16 healthy non-smoking individuals (15 males, age: 28 2 years, body mass index: 25.4 0.6 kg m-2) through comparison with blood volume measurements calculated from invasive measurements of COHb saturation. The coefficient of variation for noninvasive blood volume measurements performed on separate days was 15.1% which decreases to 9.1% when measurements were performed on the same day. Changes in COHb saturation and SpCO following CO rebreathing were strongly correlated (r = 0.90, p < 0.01), resulting in a significant correlation between invasive and noninvasive blood volume measurements (r = 0.83, p = 0.02). Changes in SpCO following CO rebreathing can be accurately detected by pulse CO-oximetry, which could potentially provide a simplified, convenient and reproducible method to rapidly determine blood volume in healthy individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • carbon monoxide
  • carboxyhaemoglobin saturation
  • noninvasive
  • rebreathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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