Tissue oxygen tension and other indicators of blood loss or organ perfusion during graded hemorrhage

A. Gosain, J. Rabkin, J. P. Reymond, J. A. Jensen, T. K. Hunt*, R. A. Upton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Currently employed clinical indicators of perfusion provide inadequate warning of developing hazards caused by marginal perfusion in certain vital organs or 'peripheral' tissues that are pivotal to postsurgical wound healing. In this study, mean arterial blood pressure, cardiac output, and transcutaneous and subcutaneous oxygen tensions (PtcO2 and PsqO2) were investigated during serial hemorrhage, as indicators of the degree of both hypovolemia and perfusion to specific tissues. Blood was removed in stages (10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 55%, 60%, and 65% of original volume) from anesthetized dogs. Injections of variously radiolabeled microspheres allowed assessment of blood flow at each stage of hemorrhage in bone, brain, colon, heart, kidney, liver, muscle, pancreas, skin, small intestine, spleen, stomach, and subcutaneous tissue. PsqO2 was correlated more highly with blood volume lost than was PtcO2. Furthermore PsqO2 was more sensitive to blood loss than was either cardiac output or PtcO2 and, also during the early loss (0% to 40%), was more sensitive than mean arterial pressure. Some organs (e.g., pancreas) appeared to lose considerable blood flow with only small loss of blood volume, but their blood flow then stabilized at a low level despite further hemorrhage. Other organs, notably the kidney, appeared to be relatively unaffected by substantial loss of blood volume (20% to 40%), after which, however, their blood flow quite abruptly became sensitive to further hypovolemia. This explains why blood flow-related performance of the kidney (e.g., urine volume) may not adequately predict a developing hazard or peripheral perfusion. Some indicators were found to be better indexes of blood flow in some organs than in others (e.g., cardiac output and PsqO2 correlated more closely with skin, spleen, and intestinal flows [and one another] than with vital organ flows).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-532
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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