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Open Access Transcutaneous Blood Gas Monitoring in the Rat

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Transcutaneous blood gas (TCBG) analysis is a noninvasive alternative method of estimation of blood gas tensions. The objective of the study reported here was to validate this method against standard blood gas (STBG) analysis in adult and juvenile Sprague-Dawley rats. We sought to establish the optimal TCBG probe site and temperature, to establish probe temperatures that would not cause thermal burns, to evaluate correlations between blood gas values (PaCO2 and PaO2 ) determined by use of TCBG and STBG, and to evaluate the sensitivity of the TCBG unit to changes in arterial blood gas partial pressures. Our results indicated that: in general, the xyphoid area was the optimal site for probe placement, with 44.5°C being the optimal probe temperature for the highest correlation, but thermal burns may be a problem; probe temperatures of 42.5°C (adults) and 42.0°C (juveniles) do not cause thermal burns when left in place for three hours; probe temperatures of 44°C (adults) and 42°C (juveniles) resulted in moderate correlation between Pa CO2 and Ptc CO2 ; and the TCBG unit adequately responded to changes in arterial blood gas partial pressures. Neither PtcCO2 or PtcO2 reflect actual values of PaCO2 or PaO2, respectively. We concluded that TCBG analysis may be used as an indicator of change in Pa CO2 with sufficient animal numbers under tightly controlled conditions, but not as an indicator of change in PaO2 in adult and juvenile rats.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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