Author(s): Bennett J, Peterson T, Burleson JA
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Abstract PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether capnography is a more sensitive monitor than auscultation of breath sounds in detecting ventilatory changes consistent with hypoventilation, obstruction, or apnea and in detecting ventilatory changes that can be associated with oxygen desaturation. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty-five patients received intravenous agents and supplemental oxygen to achieve a state of deep sedation or general anesthesia for removal of impacted third molars. The surgeon/anesthetist monitored respiratory status using a pretracheal stethoscope and direct observation. A blinded observer with no access to the patient or anesthetist monitored respiratory status using capnography. A second observer monitored all respiratory parameters to allow for correlation between clinical and electronic monitors. RESULTS: Ventilatory status was continuously represented by capnogaphy. The Pearson correlation coefficient showed a positive correlation between increased end-tidal CO2 (PETCO2) and decreased oxygen saturation that became stronger with greater positive changes in PETCO2. An additive relationship was found between PETCO2 and respiratory rate (RR), with increased PETCO2 and decreased RR contributing to decreased oxygen saturation. CONCLUSION: Patients with nasal ventilatory exchange maintain this exchange throughout the anesthesia so that sampling of nasal PETCO2 is an effective way to monitor ventilatory status. Respiratory depression or obstructive ventilatory changes detected by capnography showed a high sensitivity and low positive predictive value in detecting oxygen desaturation. The current technology does not show a clinically satisfactory correlation between PETCO2 and oxygen saturation. However, a combined increase in PETCO2 and decrease in RR suggested a trend of decreasing oxygen saturation.
This article was published in J Oral Maxillofac Surg
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research