Aim: To evaluate the accuracy in transcutaneous (Tc) blood gas monitoring in newborn infants, including extremely low birth weight infants, during neonatal intensive care.
Methods: Tc PO(2) /PCO(2) was monitored in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) during stable infant conditions. In comparison, simultaneous arterial PO(2) and PCO(2) was measured. Sixty measurements were taken in 46 infants with median (range) birth weight of 0.93 (0.53-4.7) kg and at median (range) age of 8.5 (1-44) days. Comparison of measurements was performed using Bland-Altman plots, and the mean (95% CI) of the difference was calculated. Comparison was also performed in relation to body weight, postnatal age and oxygen requirement.
Results: The mean (95% CI) difference in PO(2) (TcPO(2)-aPO(2)) was 0.3 (-0.2-0.9) kPa, and the corresponding difference in PCO(2) (TcPCO(2)-aPCO(2)) was 0.4 (0.03-0.8, p < 0.05) kPa. Some differences were related to body weight, age and oxygen requirement, but these differences were small.
Conclusion: There was good agreement between TcPO(2)/TcPCO(2) and corresponding arterial measurements. The mean difference between the methods was small and clinically acceptable in a current NICU. Tc blood gas monitoring could be recommended as a valuable complement for blood gas monitoring also in extremely low birth weight infants.
© 2011 The Author(s)/Acta Paediatrica © 2011 Foundation Acta Paediatrica.