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Mixed and central venous oxygen saturation monitoring in the ICU 

Mixed and central venous oxygen saturation monitoring in the ICU
Mixed and central venous oxygen saturation monitoring in the ICU

Frank Bloos

and Konrad Reinhart

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date: 16 May 2022

Haemodynamic resuscitation should target goals that reflect the tissue oxygen needs of an individual patient. Venous oximetry may be such a tool. Oxygen saturation of blood in the pulmonary artery contains venous blood from the whole body and is referred to as mixed oxygen saturation (SvO2). Measurement of oxygen saturation in blood obtained from a central venous catheter is referred to as central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO2). Both values are not identical since a catheter placed into the superior vena cava only represents venous blood draining the upper body. While it is not possible, in the clinical setting, to predict SvO2 from ScvO2, changes in SvO2 are adequately mirrored by changes in ScvO2. Post-operative patients and patients admitted to intensive care with a low ScvO2 show a higher morbidity and mortality. Early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) combines several haemodynamic goals into a treatment algorithm, including a ScvO2 target. However, recent studies do not support the systematic use of this protocolized approach. A normal value of SvO2 or ScvO2 saturation does not always exclude tissue hypoxia, since it is not possible to identify an inadequate oxygen supply in single organs. A further limitation of this technique is that organ dysfunction can progress, or serum lactate increases, despite normal or even increased venous oximetry values.

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