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Accuracy of transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitoring in hypotensive patients


Objectives Continuous blood gas monitoring is frequently necessary in critically ill patients. Our aim was to assess the accuracy of transcutaneous CO2 tension (PtcCO2) monitoring in the emergency department (ED) assessment of hypotensive patients by comparing it with the gold standard of arterial blood gas analysis (ABGA).

Methods All patients receiving PtcCO2 monitoring in the ED were included. We excluded paediatric patients, patients with no ABGA results during a hypotensive event, patients whose ABGA was not performed simultaneously with PtcCO2 monitoring, and patients who received sodium bicarbonate for resuscitation. The included patients were classified into hypotensive patients and normotensive patients. A hypotensive patient was defined as a patient showing a mean arterial pressure under 60 mm Hg. The agreement in measurement between PaCO2 tension (PaCO2) and PtcCO2 were investigated in both groups.

Results The mean difference between PaCO2 and PtcCO2 was 2.1 mm Hg, and the Bland–Altman limits of agreement (bias±1.96 SD) ranged from −15.6 to 19.7 mm Hg in the 28 normotensive patients. The mean difference between PaCO2 and PtcCO2 was 1.1 mm Hg, and the Bland–Altman limits of agreement (bias±1.96 SD) ranged from −19.5 to 21.7 mm Hg in the 26 hypotensive patients. The weighted κ values were 0.64 in the normotensive patients and 0.60 in the hypotensive patients.

Conclusions PtcCO2 monitoring showed wider limits of agreement with PaCO2 in urgent situations in the ED environment. However, acutely developed hypotension does not affect the accuracy of PtcCO2 monitoring.

  • resuscitation, clinical care

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