Real-time analysis of the change in arterial oxygen tension during endotracheal suction with a fiberoptic bronchoscope

Crit Care Med. 1985 Oct;13(10):855-8. doi: 10.1097/00003246-198510000-00017.


An intra-arterial Clark-type polarographic oxygen electrode was used with a fiberoptic bronchoscope for real-time analysis of the PO2 change during 1 min of suction in patients spontaneously breathing oxygen. There was a strong correlation between values obtained from the intra-arterial electrode (PiO2) and those from blood samples (PaO2), before and at the end of suction; the PiO2/PaO2 ratio was close to one. Continuous PiO2 recordings during suction without supplemental oxygen showed little change in the early period of suction, followed by a steep drop continuing even after suction. This drop in PiO2 was partially attenuated by providing oxygen with high-frequency jet ventilation and was almost completely attenuated by the use of a suction adaptor. Changes in the inspired oxygen concentration indicated the importance of keeping this variable constant during suction to prevent hypoxemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Electrodes
  • Female
  • Fiber Optic Technology / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen / physiology*
  • Partial Pressure
  • Postoperative Care
  • Respiration*
  • Respiration, Artificial / instrumentation
  • Suction* / instrumentation
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Time Factors


  • Oxygen