Comparison of the SpO2/FIO2 ratio and the PaO2/FIO2 ratio in patients with acute lung injury or ARDS

Chest. 2007 Aug;132(2):410-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.07-0617. Epub 2007 Jun 15.


Background: The diagnostic criteria for acute lung injury (ALI) and ARDS utilize the Pao(2)/fraction of inspired oxygen (Fio(2)) [P/F] ratio measured by arterial blood gas analysis to assess the degree of hypoxemia. We hypothesized that the pulse oximetric saturation (Spo(2))/Fio(2) (S/F) ratio can be substituted for the P/F ratio in assessing the oxygenation criterion of ALI.

Methods: Corresponding measurements of Spo(2) (values </= 97%) and Pao(2) from patients enrolled in the ARDS Network trial of a lower tidal volume ventilator strategy (n = 672) were compared to determine the relationship between S/F and P/F. S/F threshold values correlating with P/F ratios of 200 (ARDS) and 300 (ALI) were determined. Similar measurements from patients enrolled in the ARDS Network trial of lower vs higher positive end-expiratory pressure (n = 402) were utilized for validation.

Results: In the derivation data set (2,613 measurements), the relationship between S/F and P/F was described by the following equation: S/F = 64 + 0.84 x (P/F) [p < 0.0001; r = 0.89). An S/F ratio of 235 corresponded with a P/F ratio of 200, while an S/F ratio of 315 corresponded with a P/F ratio of 300. The validation database (2,031 measurements) produced a similar linear relationship. The S/F ratio threshold values of 235 and 315 resulted in 85% sensitivity with 85% specificity and 91% sensitivity with 56% specificity, respectively, for P/F ratios of 200 and 300.

Conclusion: S/F ratios correlate with P/F ratios. S/F ratios of 235 and 315 correlate with P/F ratios of 200 and 300, respectively, for diagnosing and following up patients with ALI and ARDS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oximetry
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods*
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity / physiology
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / blood
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / therapy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tidal Volume
  • Treatment Outcome