Exploring intermittent transcutaneous CO2 monitoring

Crit Care Med. 1999 Nov;27(11):2358-60. doi: 10.1097/00003246-199911000-00006.


Objective: To explore the accuracy of a continuous transcutaneous CO2 (T(CCO2)) monitor, used in an intermittent rather than a continuous fashion, to obtain quick (<5 mins) CO2 readings.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: An urban pediatric intensive care unit in a university teaching hospital.

Patients: A convenience sample of pediatric patients with indwelling arterial catheters.

Intervention: Transcutaneous monitoring was done simultaneous with arterial blood gas monitoring.

Measurements and main results: There were 49 simultaneous-readings on 19 patients, age 5 days to 16 years, with 13 different diagnoses. The T(CCO2) was related to the PCO2 by a Pearson product coefficient of 0.79 (p<.0005), with a mean difference of 1.94 (T(CCO2)>P(CO2) and 95% confidence interval of -0.12 to 4.07. The scatterplot produces a regression line characterized by the following equation: PCO2 = (T(CCO2)x1.05)-4.08.

Conclusions: Further study to evaluate intermittent TCCO2 as a practical clinical variable is warranted. This study should encourage refinement of the technology to be more accurate for this use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Airway Obstruction / blood*
  • Blood Gas Analysis / methods
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood*
  • Catheters, Indwelling
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Urban Population


  • Carbon Dioxide